Sicilian stoners continue to bring the groove on album number two.
Palermo, the capital of the Italian Island of Siciliy, is a city that boasts a rich and varied history. It was founded in 734 BC by the Phoenicians before being taken over by Carthage and then the Roman Republic and Empire. Much has changed over the last couple of millennia but while its history is a constant source of interest its present is looking pretty smart also. Particularly in the stoner rock scene and city-based purveyors of all things Groove, Elevators To The Grateful Sky, are leading the band who are leading the way.
They start as they mean to go on with punishing and powerful riffs that have become a trademark yet the band have stopped short of relying on pure riffage to see them through and have expanded their sound to encompass a wider variety of influences that complement and enhance their already Kyuss/Fu Manchu-infused stonery. So, to the tracks themselves.
The Alice In Chains-esque grit of “Bullet Words” provides a perfect follow-on from the driving opener of “Ground” which manages to be part free rollin’ groove and part speeded up sludge.
There are several changes of pace that one might not have expected from listening to the first two tracks. “Dreams Come Through” is the first of this shift in direction and it’s a lightweight, loose and almost ethereal opening start that slowly builds into a monstrous hook and chorus line that returns the band to familiar territory.
“Mongerbino” is a straight forward speedy rocker akin to Clutch in a frivolous mood. By contrast the title track “Cape Yawn” is an instrumental affair that rolls along at an even pace with incorporates jazzy elements towards its conclusion. Its yet another example of the multiple and varying influences of the band members which are revealed both honestly and respectfully throughout the near 50 minute run time.
Their debut album Cloud Eye provided an unsubtle hint as to the band’s potential which is now another huge step closer to being realised. They have considerably upped the ante on this album and, of course, there is still a way to go yet before they put themselves amongst their celebrated and revered peers but this is a mighty fine effort.
This is the sound of a band intent on placing a Godzilla-sized footprint on the world of rock music. It’s impossible to know how many levels ‘The Elevators’ will eventually ascend to but on the strength of this release they can certainly bypass a few levels on their way up.
Donnie’s rating: 8.5/10
Cape Yawn is out on 11th March through HeviSike Records.