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Elway - Passing Days (Cover Artwork)

Elway

Elway: Passing DaysPassing Days (2011)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: movingpastmovingpast
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I'm not usually a fan of digital-only releases, especially singles, preferring the tactile sensation of having a record on the player and liner notes in my hands. That said, having casually enjoyed Elway's previous incarnation, 10-4 Eleanor, I was curious enough to purchase the Passing Days release .
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I'm not usually a fan of digital-only releases, especially singles, preferring the tactile sensation of having a record on the player and liner notes in my hands. That said, having casually enjoyed Elway's previous incarnation, 10-4 Eleanor, I was curious enough to purchase the Passing Days release to see if and how the band might have progressed now signed to Red Scare, a label where bands seem to flourish and grow.

The band, or at least their singer Tim Browne, is clearly a fan Chris McCaughan of the Lawrence Arms, as Browne's vocal delivery often brings McCaughan to mind-which, for me, is always welcomed. Another similarity they share with the Lawrence Arms are lyrics that possess poetic and often detailed, rich imagery that engages the listener and has a storytelling quality without losing its personal focus. These, however, are just points of reference, with Elway being much more than a Lawrence Arms ripoff.

Browne's voice possesses harsher edges to it, giving Elway's songs a grittier edge in every song and a more fluid transition between its melodic and gruff dynamics than the Lawrence Arms are capable of. It gives variety to the songs, ensuring they don't become monotonous or dull. It's a dynamism that gives Elway's songs depth and replay value.

The title track of this digital release for Red Scare sets the tone for the two following tracks: mid-paced with upbeat flourishes of Midwest-esque punk. "Passing Days" does well to generate a sense of energy without the need for a breakneck pace, with the guitar hooks and rhythm section achieving something similar to labelmates the Menzingers but in a slightly more controlled manner. It gives a sense of purpose that a lot of mid-tempo punk often lacks. The track sucks you in, with its lyrics showcasing their strong songwriting with great lines-"Smoking cigars settle in an ashtray / in a dingy bar where romances are born / the sound of Denver seeping from the jukebox / but no country road could ever take us home."

The first of two accompanying B-sides are "Patrick's Scarf Is So Douche", which starts a little measured before breaking loose into a great guitar line that conjures thoughts of driving along a stretching highway escaping the shitty day-to-day world. The song is about the redeeming power of music-to uplift, support or provide escape when things aren't going right. It's an almost universal experience when each of us having a time when the songs we love have helped us out in some way. The song's propulsive drumming-along with its great breakout guitar hook-tap into that spirit. Add in some shout/group vocals and you're in punk rock heaven-a song to loudly sing along to that means something we all can relate to, to pick you up when you're down. Perfect.

The other B-side, "Wolf Shirt" slows things down a little. The song, like many others before it, explores themes of religion, God and belief. The song doesn't come across preachy-rather, it's a call to arms, to throw off the guilt, shame and submission growing up in a religious lifestyle can bring with it. "Don't ever be afraid / no one can tell us who we are / not brothers, not men, not gods / our bodies are ours and ours alone." Musically, the tune sits in a nice riff/groove for the first two-thirds before a quiet change-up that builds in an instrumental that keeps things interesting to finish on.

The three songs on Passing Days do well in introducing and showcasing the different aspects to Elway as a band-from introspective and lovelorn to upbeat and inspiring, personal and socially aware in their content. I'm glad I took the chance on the digital release as Passing Days is a great warm-up for their full-length, Delusions, due out in May.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Elway - DelusionsThe Holy Mess - The Holy MessThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsCobra Skulls - Bringing the War HomeNothington - Borrowed TimeRed City Radio - The Dangers of Standing StillSpraynard - FuntitledSamiam - TripsElway - Hence My Optimism [7-inch]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
You-Sexy-Goose (May 6, 2011)

Oh wait, I'm a dumbass... And I'm tired... And it's my birthday... I thought this was the review for Delusions, and I didn't read through it. Fail on my part. Still, fucking great.

You-Sexy-Goose (May 6, 2011)

Just got this and it blew me away. I love it.

eatdogs (April 25, 2011)

saw these guys at the RCR cd release show. pretty awesome and catcvhy. lots of energy and good conversation on stage too...

RondoMondo (April 24, 2011)

This band is so damn good. Used to talk to them on MySpace back in the day.

encorp (April 22, 2011)

Fuck yeah! Great review!

PaulPendley (April 22, 2011)

Elway is jerks!

StaceyFitz (April 22, 2011)

Great review. You left out about how Elway is jerks, though. Still... I'm amped for the release.

mcfly (April 22, 2011)

mad stokage! some praise for the smelliest dudes to ever grace atlas! see ya at fireside!

xshoutoutx (April 22, 2011)

About time this was reviewed! However, the time it took is exempt, because goddamn, for a three-song release you sure did a hellofa job reviewing each of them!

motorsport226 (April 22, 2011)

Agree completely with the review. I'm a huge TLA fan and I think these guys show their influence from them well.

adamvms (April 22, 2011)

These guys vaguely remind me of Chamberlain which to me is awesome.

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