steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Elephants on a Mousehunt" CD


Genre: rock, alternative

Philadelphia, PA

June 2009

With a bevy of impressive credentials behind them, hard-working DIY-ers Zelazowa have put out this substantial album as a follow-up to their 2006 Polymorph EP. The name of the game here is polished, hook-laden rock music, and these four don't disappoint on that front. Certainly, Elephants on a Mousehunt has the propensity to be a bit bland at times, as on by-the-numbers "Numbers," nineties-esque grunger "Fade Too," and flat "Like Swine for Words." But they also do a lot of things right. "You Say Love" is the colossal single on tap here, relying on a breezily jerky guitar line and strung up irresistibly with a breathtaking break-through chorus. Unmistakable are the spattery vocal chords of Bryan Weber, whose yowl takes a bit of acclimation but lends a charming uniqueness to the proceedings. Auxiliary favourites include the twangy bliss of "Baby Blue (Listening to the Earth Shift)," blazing "Autumn," and self-descriptive "Madama Wrecking Ball."

These folks aren't rewriting books, but they imbue their songs with sufficient dynamism and hooks to make Elephants on a Mousehunt the type of record that actually deserves to be played on the radio. I prefer these folks to Nickelback or Chris Cornell or whatever gets played on alternative rock stations these days both because Zelazowa are somewhat interesting and because, put simply, they deserve it.

zelazowa's myspace



Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2009]