Release Date: Nov 25, 2016
Record label: Burger Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Elephant Stone are the crown jewels of Montreal psych-rock. The Polaris Prize nominees emerged around 2009, self-branded by frontman/bassist/sitarist Rishi Dhir as "Hindie rock," and have worked with Beck, the Black Angels and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. While their songs are occasionally graced by classical Indian tabla and sitar, Dhir's singing has a slightly nasal-but-pleasant quality similar to Elliott Smith or John Lennon that makes their music truly enticing.Over the first half of Ship of Fools, it almost sounds like they've traded in their sitar-toting "Hindie rock" for guitar- and synth-based psychedelic rock in the same vein as Tame Impala, but with a darker, post-industrial vibe.
What the world is waiting for or fool’s gold? Such is the broad sweep of psychedelia and its entrenchment in the rock canon that it’s been all too easy to forget the form’s pop origins. Clearly, as displayed on the fourth album from Canadian psyche-heads Elephant Stone, this is a situation to be rectified. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads Ship Of Fools is a gloriously and unapologetically joyous listen, and one that serves to remind us how the Flaming Lips lost their mojo, while simultaneously showing Empire Of The Sun the way forward.
For modern rock fans the very name Elephant Stone connotes something specific: a beloved 1988 single from the Stone Roses. The new millennial, Canadian psych rock band Elephant Stone does indeed take elements from the Stone Roses, specifically how the Manchester group layered acoustic guitars and ringing Rickenbackers to create a psychedelic, '60s pastiche that never sounded tethered to the past, but on their eponymous 2013 sophomore set, there are several elements that give this modern-day trippy pop band their own identity. Foremost among them is a fondness for Indian music -- not a huge surprise considering how leader Rishi Dhir was an in-demand sitarist among the neo-psychedelic set prior to his formation of Elephant Stone (he played with Brian Jonestown Massacre and Soundtrack of Our Lives, among others) -- but it's hardly exotic window-dressing for standard-issue psychedelia.