Karlstad, Sweden’s Elope is something of an uncharacteristic success in the waning days of that country’s garage rock scene. While first-rate acts like The (International) Noise Conspiracy and The Hives have begun to fade into the background, Elope’s pre/post/prog-punk hybrid distinguishes them from the pack. If nothing else it’s nice to hear garage rock demonstrate a little more initiative that rote barre chord songwriting. Culling nimble-fingered riffs from stoner and southern rock, the groove these guys establish works well for downplaying the genre’s fiery tendancies. “Misbehaving in the Summernight” feels like a thoroughly edited, but still fun-loving slice of the Allman Brothers, while “Not Even Close” –the disc’s six-minute centerpiece– glides by like prime Supergrass. Credit Tomas Eriksson’s liquid bass lines for much of this. On the rare occasions when spikey punk rhythms crop up, as on “Chewbacca,” the group still manages to stay tuneful and remarkably far away from redundancy. The unexpected instrumental mad-scientist soundtrack closer just seals the deal. Sweden’s pop music scene is still a better bet, but Elope give us a glimpse of the potential the garage revival might have the next time around.

Gravitation: http://www.gravitation.nu

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