Fans of Elephant Stone will already know Dhir can write masterful, well crafted melodies, and infuse them with synth and dirge without spoiling the underlying foundations of his work. The Three Poisons takes things one step further. It pushes and cracks the boundaries of the psych-rock genre to introduce new and previously unexplored territory. Lead track “Knock You from Yr Mountain” demonstrates this perfectly, incorporating a Spoon-style strut to a song that otherwise stays true to Elephant Stone’s walk of life.
The ultimate consequence of this willingness to expand is one of lofty heights. Rather than aspire to the level of their icons – The Stone Roses being an obvious one – Elephant Stone have wriggled into a position where they better the modern scene they sprang from, at least in terms of production techniques and musicianship. The little noodles of guitar on penultimate track “Echo & the Machine” for example elevate the song above the standard drum beat and meditation of most psych-inspired bands.
With The Three Poisons, Elephant Stone have proved themselves a band to be hailed. With any luck this album will push these three into the cornea of the music industry’s eye. If it doesn’t, let it be known that this is a gem desperately waiting to be unwrapped.
The Three Poisons’ is a flat-out killer groove-fest.
If you are already a fan of Elephant Stone then have no fear, all the elements you have come to love are still here – the swirling keys, the jangly guitar, the trippy sitar and Rishi Dhir’s Beatles-like vocals. What knocks this one out of the park though is the rhythm section of Dhir (bass), Steven Venkatarangam (second bass) and drummer Miles Dupire. On songs like “The Three Poisons”, “Echo and the Machine”, “Child of Nature” and “Knock You from Your Mountain” they lay down such deliciously throbbing grooves that you never want them to end. Fact is, they’ve infused some funk into that bottom end and to great effect.
That’s not to say that Elephant Stone come at you full-bore throughout the entire record. There are some quieter moments, such as the bluesy “Living for Someone” and the stunningly gorgeous “Wayward Son”, which is highlighted by the sweet chops of guitarist Gabriel Lambert.
Elephant Stone continue to draw inspiration from the Stone Roses, more so than ever in fact, but that’s not a bad thing at all. For starters, you can do a hell of lot worse than emulate the great Stone Roses. Besides, that’s just one of their influences – you can also hear strains of glitter rock, ’80′s synth pop, early ’70′s funk and, of course, a dash of Indian flavour – and they serve it all up in a way that is distinctly Elephant Stone.
I honestly don’t know when this current wave of psychedelia will die down, but Elephant Stone would have us believe that you can just keep on riding that crest forever.
(Ride The Tempo)