The Elderberries: Ignorance and Bliss

Hard rock with tunes can be rather a joyous experience, particularly live, where it is at its best when it is sweaty, a bit rough, very loud and raucous round the edges. It’s not the most inventive of genres except in rare corners and so it depends on how driving the beats are, how catchy the choruses might be, how insistent the basslines and how the guitars mesh and fly around the solidity of the rest. The Elderberries, to their credit, understand that this is the case and so they embark on a not-particularly-groundbreaking but certainly rockin’ set of tunes that pass through the stereo with a ripple here and a shake of their leather jackets there.

The band are variously from England, Canada and France but their songs are firmly in the tradition of the intercontinental; the meaty mix by Steve Orchard helps it all jump and bound about without really ever breaking on through to the other side. Since Seventies bands have sounded, more or less, like this, and although their polished side comes through on record, it’s something that is undoubtedly at its best in a medium-sized rock club with a top notch PA and plenty of beer to spike it up.

As for the tracks themselves, check out ‘Au Bikini’ for the band at their best and ‘Impostor’ for something soaked in fuzzy, dirty-ass blues licks. ‘Far Away’ slows things down a little, increasing in atmosphere and dynamic as it ruffles along, something like an Oasis B-side. There’s no doubting that The Elderberries know what they’re doing, but the fact is that this ain’t gonna get anywhere close to doing anything except scratch a rock itch - but that’s probably the point.

Joe Shooman