Great Elk - "Autogeography" CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Elk - "Autogeography" CD Review

Great Elk - 'Autogeography' CD Review
Brooklyn’s Great Elk released its full-length debut, Autogeography, in May and the ambitious, self-described “indiefolk” disc (eleven-tracks - 47 minutes) is an extremely strong outing from the band. This new disc has drawn comparisons to My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses but I found the disc to have more of the shimmer and late-night vibe of bands like Death Cab for Cutie and there is even a hint of the Velvet Underground on one track (“Liquid”).

The disc starts out strong with the one-two punch of the upbeat rockers “The Weight of the Sea” and “Give Up”. While these are two of the perfectly crafted indie-rock songs on the disc, the tight hooks hide the reflective and somewhat melancholy lyrics that come out on the slower-burning numbers. The band’s website describes Autogeography as “a collection of rock songs about the idea of ‘home’ – the struggle to find one, and above all, the indelible connection between identity and place.” This struggle is most evident on “I’m Going to Bend”, where vocalist Paul Basile sounds resigned to the fate of bending and breaking in whatever emotional storm he is going through. Among the other slow-burning numbers are ”Your Worst Nightmare”, which starts off being driven by Basile’s vocals and soaring slide guitar work before heading into the big bluesy back-half of the song. Other tracks in this vein include “Oh, My Home, My Ohio” and “Big Black Sea”, where this later track ends in a two-minute march to cacophony before giving way to a barely breathing reed organ and delicate piano line.

Paul Basile is playing a solo show at Rockwood Music Hall on July 19th (Free admission). Following this, Great Elk is playing a handful of West Coast shows in August – complete tour dates are below.

Aug. 04 - White Eagle, Portland, OR
Aug. 05 - Columbia City Theater, Seattle, WA
Aug. 07 - Amnesia, San Francisco, CA
Aug. 08 - Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA
Aug. 09 - 1078 Gallery, Chico, CA
Aug. 11 - Cozmic Pizza, Eugene, OR

Great Elk