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Big Elf Hex

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Thursday, July 8, 2004 @ 12:34 AM


(Warner Bros.)

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Sometimes tagged as a stoner rock, doom metal or even prog rock, Big Elf are all and none of the above: a genre hoping, pill popping four-piece that gloriously refuse to acknowledge this ain't 1973 and crank out epics like Dark Side of the Moon never existed. Riding the same train as Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Budgie, Hawkwind, Pretty Things and post-pop era Sweet, Big Elf play majestic, multi-layered, theatrical BIG rock and make no bones about it.

You want heavy? "Madhatter," "Pain Killers" and "Falling Bombs" are friggin' freight trains of riffs that would make Deep Purple jealous and make Ozzy wish he'd stole 'em for his last album. You want trippy? Man, "Bats in the Belfry II" (which proceeds "Bats in the Belfry I by eight songs) sounds like a Syd Barrett outtake in all the best ways.
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You want some Mott the Hoople style boogie? Check out "Rock & Roll Suicide," baby, and get ready to shake yer ass.

Quite simply, this is a stellar effort from a criminally underrated band. The fact that this is on a major label is astounding (it would have been in the '70s, but now?). But the fact that it's Warner Sweden and these guys can't even get a deal here in their homeland, the U.S., is sad, as this album is better than 99.9% of the crap out here now.

Best album since Turbonegro's Apocalypse Dudes ... and if you know what a heavy statement that is, then you know to go run out and buy this.

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