Yes, like all the self-deprecating, celebrity-portmanteuing genius bands before them, from the Dandy Warhols to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elvis Depressedly are cool as shit. So, their latest album, or EP, whatever, ‘Holo Pleasures’ is an awesome listen. Absently minded melodies twirl through rays of comforting heartbreak and remorse.
The entire album, and indeed all Elvis Depressedly’s material is on the sombre side, in case you didn’t pick up on the ‘depressed’ part of their name. It reminds me of the time I heard a guy describe Elliot Smith as ‘Sad-core’. I don’t think Elvis Depressedly fit a pigeonholed description like that, or particularly sound like Elliot Smith, but there is a super suburban macabre element to their material. ‘Holo Pleasures’ sees them narrow that into a fixated and concentrated effort that sounds as polished as lo-fi is going to come off.
Slow, glazed guitar, in varying states of cleanliness grate patiently against main man Matt Cothron’s voice, that scratches the listener ever so gently, it’s like a mouse sobbing, albeit a fucking talented mouse. A track like ‘Inside You’ with it’s elegant, Pavement-esque style is the right kind of music for any fan of relaxation. With the garage wooo’s cliche slowed down about 1000 bpm to quaint hums, and crashing cymbals reduced to taps in the background, the no-fi mixing of this track creates an above average love song. Couple this with the next track ‘Teeth’, with diluted vocals that waver almost as disturbingly as the intermittent synths, ‘Holo Pleasures’ would be a fine record with just these two songs.
However, the shining moment comes from ‘Pepsi/Coke Suicide’, a track as grave as the funeral for Mr Rogers. Yes, it’s a bummer track, packed with some strings, yet totally empty. Even Corthron’s vocal seems to droop and sag into each phrase, as he hopefully states ‘Always real/Always right/ Always Allright’ to close out the track. It’s like extinguishing a candle: it’s not huge or catastrophic, but at the same time, it holds a metaphorical significance.
If ever there were a sad album, let this be it. It’s painfully soothing, grappling with reality and a way better cure than The Cure. Cue goth anger.
Get the album for free, as well as the rest Elvis Depressedly’s material at Bandcamp. There’s a fuckload of material, so try going my personal favourites, ‘Disgraceland’ feat. the amazing ‘I’m Never Going to Understand‘ and ‘Mickey’s Dead’.