The Elected - Bury Me In My Rings
When a teenager says, "That sounds like something my parents would listen to" it's hardly ever a compliment and typically indicates a negative number on the cool scale that always ranges between one star/mic/thumb-up and five/ten/one hundred of the same. When a 31 year old failure from Omaha, Nebraska says it...your band is most likely doomed to play wedding receptions and church functions.
Lucky for Blake Sennett, he's got some Rilo Kiley cred to spend along with a fair amount of critical acclaim from The Elected's previous efforts. Any of the songs on Bury Me In My Rings absolutely sound like something my parents would have danced to at a local pizza parlor during their high school courtship. The album drips with the salty 60's flavor of Jacqueline Kennedy's tears. It runs deep with the country influenced twang that highlighted so many of the bands who began to form the rock n roll sound and executes song structure with absolute precision, never wavering from the expected. The tunes are clean, solid, and fail to raise too much of a ruckus until "Who Are You": track eight of the album where a jazzier beat is utilized along with some craaaaaazy vocal effects that somehow time traveled back from the disco era. The edgier side of The Elected is revealed then and you can't help but suddenly question the moral fiber of these young gentlemen. Why, it's entirely possible that they've spent a night or two with some unsavory riff-raff, smoking marijuana cigarettes or feeling up fast girls. It's not long though before we're back to the nostalgic pop slide of the guitar strings that sounded unique and gritty fifty years ago. The very next track winks at the mothers in the audience, reassuring them that the previous song was just the band lettin' loose a little and that they in no way intended on seducing their impressionable daughters.
This is an absolutely adequate album and many will find that they enjoy some if not all of it. Again, the songs are solid and Sennett's amigos Mike Bloom and Mike Mogis hold the line in traditional rhythm and percussion fashion. There's nothing technical that you can slight on Bury Me In My Rings. The formula is concocted and executed with nostalgic precision. It's that polished perfection though that bored me into taking a drive that eventually led to Dealey Plaza and a turn pass the book depository.
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