Slabco label head Steven Nereo recorded previously under the name Volume All-Star, and the primary difference between that project and this solo record is the absence of vocalist Lady Mallard. On the mike for Future Home of Burbank Elks is Nereo himself, and the song-oriented slant of the album, complete with abundant guitar, gives him plenty of opportunity to showcase his voice. Gone are the between-song snippets of old film dialog and answering machine messages (which had pretty much worn out their welcome anyway). Though the tone is similar to records by Slabco mainstays Sukpatch, these tunes are unfortunately not in the same league. Unlike contemporary Money Mark (who plays keyboards here on two tracks), Nereo's thin voice lacks character, and the melodies seem rote. The backing vocal contributions from Alex Wagner and Jen Abercrombie on two tracks improve things a little ("Par Paint" is the strongest song by far), but the best tracks here are the loose, spacy trip-hop instrumentals, thick with analog keyboard textures and accomplished guitar playing. Several such tracks are a cut above Volume All-Star's work, but the record as a whole is an admirable but disappointing departure.
Future Home of Burbank Elks
Future Home of Burbank Elks Review
by Mark Richardson