Elephant Band

Fábrica de Chocolate

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Spain's Elephant Band sound like they have been raised on a steady diet of Oasis imports. They have the same big ringing guitars, open-throated vocals, classic Beatles-influenced chord changes, and rock & roll swagger. Apart from the heavy-accented vocals, one could easily slot the group in next to classic Brit-pop like Cast, Ocean Colour Scene, or even Paul Weller and feel good about it. Tracks like the driving "You Are Me," the sweet ballad "Waterfall," and the melancholy "Sweet Sad Room" are just so late-'90s Britain that it is uncanny. Whether that sounds good or not depends on how you feel about instant nostalgia. The band doesn't really deviate from its model at all except for on the silly psychedelica-tinged "Chocolate Factory." Still, the songwriting is strong, the performances are impassioned, and there is something likeable about a band who seems so doggedly determined to be something it could never be. Give them an A for effort and an extra star for being so darn starstruck.

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