SPACE ELEVATOR – Space Elevator

Space Elevator Debut AlbumSo, I got this e-mail with a download link for an album with this band called Space Elevator. Space Elevator? I saw the cover art and figured this was some kind of power metal band. Checked out the credit list real quick and saw that the band is female fronted. Now I dropped the power metal thought and figured that I had gotten some kind of gothic metal band in the vein of Nightwish, Evanescence, Within Temptation and the likes on my hands, you know the kind of band there’s a million a dozen of. Yawn. I let it be for a while but I figured that I at least should give it a listen – it would be damn disrespectful not to. Turned out, I was in for a big surprise because this band didn’t sound anything like I had expected. The band was formed back in 2014 by guitar player David Young and the mysteriously named lead singer The Duchess. Young was the occasional guitar player for the Queen musical We Will Rock You in London and that’s where he met bass player Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Black Sabbath) – probably the best bass player in rock ever – who was the bass player for said ensemble and he accepted to be part of the band – what a recruit. Also, We Will Rock You’s Musical Director Elliott Ware came along for the ride on keyboards. With Young’s long-time drummer Brian Greene, the five-piece went on to record the album I’m now about to review. But since the recording of the album, Murray have split and the touring line-up now includes new bass player Chas Maguire. Replacing Murray, Maguire have some big shoes to fill, but judging by his performance on their cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe A Word” (recorded only for the fact that it was 30 years since Phil Lynott passed away) there won’t be a problem at all. The song is not included on the album, but since they did such a killer version of the it, I will include the video here anyway.

Opening track and first single “Elevator” blew me away completely. The sound is nothing like I had expected – this is a rocker with a big pop groove and funky with a guitar arrangement that brings 70’s disco to mind. The melody is also totally addictive and it have been in my head for days now. “We Are The Losers”, a ballad, follows and the whole arrangement makes me think of Queen with a female singer setting up a musical – this is some, pardon my French, impressive shit. “I Will Find You (Gallifrey Dreams)” starts out as a ballad based on acoustic guitars, very emotional but it soon turns into this brilliant pop song with a big hit feel and again, this is the kind of song that just sticks to the brain and refuses to leave. The softer pop vibe stays for the very memorable “Ordinary Day”, a song on the border to ballad-hood and they go AOR on us with the fabulous “Little White Lies”. But the AOR is mixed up with a more 70’s rock feel and again, a bit of Queen. “Loneliness Of Love” is a melodic pop-rocker with its feet both in 70’s pop and early 80’s AOR. If you know about the band Night Flight Orchestra, then this song is not a far cry from what they do. “More Than Enough” is a soft AOR-ish ballad with an almost lounge music feel. The riffs in the song also makes me think of early 80’s stuff like Streets and City Boy – Mike Slamer being the common denominator here. “Really Don’t Care” is a groovy rocker with a pop swagger. The foundation goes back to blues rock, though and the rhythm is intoxicating and the whole thing really belongs in the mid seventies – awesome! “Oils And Bubbles” is a pretty cute little pop number, but at the same time, the song really swings, the melody is very catchy and memorable and the tune deserves to be released as a single in the future – I smell a hit here. The fantastic “We Can Fly” starts out like a ballad, almost jazzy in style, but the band’s musical influences, the ones they probably have borrowed from artists such as Queen and Kate Bush, takes over the song. They bid their farewell with “Move On”, another big ballad, bombastic but with a really cool groove and catchiness to die for.

To say that I was wrong about this band from the start is probably the understatement of the millennium. Space Elevator is hard band to label, but classic rock seems the most accurate, the way I see it. The record was actually released in the U.K. back in 2014, but has now gotten a deal that will release the record throughout all of Europe, hopefully they will get a U.S deal as well. I’m actually puzzled that it has taken the band two years to get the album out all over Europe because in a fair and perfect world, they should have gotten a world-wide deal from hello! Not only that, this album is so awesome it should have made them huge by now, but maybe that will happen now. The music is very varied and the influences are all over the place – rock, pop, AOR, musical, jazz, hard rock and even a small (very small, though) dose of 70’s disco – but they have managed not to sound schizophrenic and in the end, everything sounds like Space Elevator, they do have an identity of their own. The musicians are also damn brilliant and The Duchess have an amazing voice with a wide range and a personal touch. I’m not sure if the everyday metalhead will dig this but if you have an open mind and like when bands takes risks and goes their own way without any thought of listening to anyone but themselves, then you have a really pleasant hour to look forward to here. This album came to me right out of the blue and the high quality is a really pleasant surprise. 2016 is only five months old and it has already given me an almost ridiculously high amount of brilliant albums. What can I say, here’s yet another one. Do enjoy the Hell out of it, peeps.

9/10

Tracklist:

1. Elevator
2. We Are The Losers
3. I Will Find You (Gallifrey Dreams)
4. Ordinary Day
5. Little White Lies
6. Loneliness Of Love
7. More Than Enough
8. Really Don’t Care
9. Oils and Bubbles
10. We Can Fly
11. Move On

Advertisements