[28 September 2009]
Elephant Stone pulls a fast one on unsuspecting listeners halfway through The Seven Seas. After three songs of pleasant ‘60s-style pop, the title track offers more of the same, albeit with a bit of sitar in the background. But immediately after that, the band abruptly shifts gears with “The Straight Line”, a seven-minute instrumental that features the sitar with a mostly traditional Indian feel. Although it makes for an odd centerpiece, the song does have a lingering effect on the album as a whole. The band veers back to pop songs afterwards, with hints of sitar included. Elephant Stone is led by a fellow named Rishi Dhir who grew up in India but has lived in Montreal for years. Tellingly, Dhir originally conceptualized Elephant Stone (from the Indian god Ganesha) as a classical sitar project. The rest of the album provides perfectly competent pop with a minor psychedelic feel and features a handful of well-written songs (“Bombs Bomb Away”, “Oh, Heartbreaker”, and “Don’t You Know”) but not enough to really make a strong impression.