Akimbo - Elephantine (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Elephantine (2003)


This album picks up right where "Harshing Your Mellow" left off. As with any band, the years have been good to Akimbo, giving them more experience, better production value, and slightly new direction of their sound.

That being said, this is an entire album of Face Eaters. If you're unfamiliar with my reviewing style, let me tell you what a Face Eater is. A Face Eater is when you listen to a song that is so amazingly good (and usually tied into hardcore in some way) and you just have to say "Sweet Christ, that song just ate my face." Seriously. The entire album.

To describe their sound, I'd have to say: imagine thirty-thousand Rick James bitch slaps. Now imagine how those would feel if they were delivered audibly through eleven tracks with names like "Bitten From The Thigh of Zeus" and "I'm a Fucking Ice Giant." That's right, not only do they tear shit up, but they have a God complex as well.

On a more serious note for those who are going to get all pissy and whine like, "But what do they actually sound like? You just poured off mindless dribble! This is a bad review!" What makes this band distinctive is it's use of time signatures and complete use of instruments. The bass plays the most insane riffs and chords, which are complemented by the guitar screeching out riffs and chords at the same time, which is all tied together by the some of the heaviest drumming, full of crash cymbals, fills, and syncopated hi-hats and rides. The vocals are guttural and growling without being all crappy and tough guy like every band out there with either "death" or "bleeding" in their name. In way of production value, it's a bit gritty, but you can tell it's on purpose. What you get from this record is most likely what you'll hear at the live show. No overproduction, and no fucking Auto-Tune. This shit is the real deal. Lyrically, they are incomparable to any other hardcore band out there. "Trust the fortress walls floating above the beast/watch the moon rolling over white/dancing and singing, we dissipate into the waves..." Or maybe try "Rain. Thunder. Falling from the heavens terror in the sky. This day all gods die." "You'll cut these cells/but I'll grow them back and disappear/So bring your blade, sadistic witch/Do your worst. Just like Delilah in my dreams." This group just can't seem to break itself away from biblical and mythological references. And that's sweet.

Interwoven into everyone of these songs is a barrage of tempo and time signature changes, as well as the most balls-to-the wall 4/4 that you'll ever hear. What is missing from this record are the sound clips that tie together the tracks that "Harshing Your Mellow" had, but it doesn't need them. Their song writing has progressed beyond the need for any sort of gimmick to help the album tie itself together. Key moments on this record are the song "Harpoon," which begins with just a slow bass riff, and then softly, as if they're being executed in the room next door, you hear the most vocal chord shredding screams. Badass. Also, in the end of "Kiss the Sun," out of nowhere it breaks down with the bass playing a really high riff while the guitar plays the lower harmonic to it. Classic.

This album brought Akimbo into favorite band status. If you liked "Harshing Your Mellow" at all, you'll love Elephantine. Permanently cemented in my top ten of all time.

Sample Tracks