One question that I struggle with regularly is why some great bands break-up just as it seems they’re hitting their stride, while other bands continue existing even as their music stinks. A corollary conundrum is why bands that produce great music are ignored while bands that create terrible music are acclaimed. One band that produced very good music and broke up before gaining notoriety is Elliott.
Elliott formed in 1997 out of the ashes of a hardcore band named Falling Forward. This was during the emergence of Emo music and Elliott started out in this direction. Their first album, US Songs, is somewhat standard Emo fare with great, heavy guitar work and earnest vocal delivery. Their next album, however, would push the boundaries of the genre enough to draw some very positive reviews from critics. False Cathedrals is also the first Elliott album that I discovered and I still really love the sound. The production is much slicker and the songs bigger (both in music and lyric). False Cathedrals was the album that should have put this band on the map, but found fewer ears that was necessary for that feat. Their next album found Elliott pushing even further out of the Emo ghetto and into a post-rock landscape. With Song in the Air, Elliott utilized a string section and more droning guitars to create a new, epic sound. They were proving that their art was more important than their recognition. But, as is often the case, art without recognition (while satisfying) fails to pay the bills. Soon after Song in the Air was released, the band called it quits and moved on.
Before fading into obscurity completely, Elliott released a final album containing live tracks and a DVD of concert footage and interviews. The disc was entitled Photorecording and is a testimony to the talent this group had. The intensity of their live show was incredible and their ability to produce studio quality sounds in stage is unreal. I’m providing a track from this disc here for your enjoyment. I encourage you to track down their other releases and experience this great band’s evolution into something great.
Elliott – Calm Americans (Live) (from Photorecording)