Like the Daliesque pachyderm-scape that adorns its cover, Boston-born trio Elephant Wrecking Ball (EWB) will stretch and knead your musical frame of reference with Barren Serenade – their first release on Ropeadope Records. From the opening notes of “Stomp Stomp Stomp”, trombonist Scott Flynn coaxes you in like a ringmaster, as the rhythm section sears velvety bass lines into your subconscious. Dub architect Craig Welsch (10-foot ganja plant, Avett Brothers, Kevin Kinsella) lends his ear and deft hands to the mix, while guest appearances by former and current John Brown’s Body players Mike Keenan and Drew Sayers add additional free-form complexity to tracks “Five Bucks” and “This is How We Slow Dance”.
The album is punctuated by two remixes of EWB songs by audio ninjas Ben Sword and Scott Hannay. Barren Serenade is an album to revisit repeatedly, peeling back new layers of etherial mayhem with every listen.