Elliot Minor - 'Parallel Worlds'
Re-releasing songs is a confusing thing for all bands. Aside from the fact the royalties probably turn into a complete nightmare, you have to re-record the video and probably screw about with the mix a bit and you aren't the people you were when you wrote it so it's all a bit weird anyway, etc., etc. Still, when you've got a bit famous and think your first single was your best even though everyone ignored it at the time, it's a valid option.
When I said I'd review this, I have to admit that my beady eyes gleamed with the joy of being reallly rude about it, as I have been in the past and as I didn't get a chance to be in anywhere particularly public on the original release. I remembered, however, that you lot really like this lot and the idea that the Elliot Minor Street Team might come round to my house and chop my hands off right when I have to give my dissertation in made me reconsider and decide to be reasonable. Just so you know, this is me being reasonable; I have my reasonable face on, which is a bit like my slavering rage face only with less drool and I've put my slippers on for extra reassurance.
The thing that confuses me the most about Elliot Minor, I think, is their gothic stylings. I don't know if this is something to do with them having been choirboys or just some attempt to give them an identity that's turned into the sort of subtlety one might associate with being smacked with a cinderblock. I've spent the last few days watching through all their videos on YouTube and being increasingly confused by the amount of candles, eyeliner and gothic windows visible in their promotional films whilst the music is major-key rock-pop.
I just completely fail to understand why someone, somewhere has latched onto this idea and transformed something relatively incidental within the bands lyrics (none of their interviews go on about having an appreciation for late-Victorian architecture, as far as I'm aware and to be honest, the occasional mentions of going into the night or similar in the songs aren't the kind of thing that makes you go and set fire to churches in Norway) and it... well, bluntly, it looks like a rather transparent attempt by a record label to cash in on the fact McFly have a big fanbase and so do My Chemical Romance, Panic At The Disco, etc. This song's current video actually fits it fairly well but it would look just as good, if not a lot better, if it was something a bit like the one to 'Take On Me.'
(Can't find an official version of the video, sadly)
Not that I'm having some kind of go at them to say they're not talented, they're clearly more than competent musicians and they can write an alright song, even if it's not the sort of thing that inspires me to stick it on repeat and sing along, it's just that it all seems rather like they'd be a lot better if they didn't have these ludicrous stylings draped all over them. They smell like some kind of Emap (the company that owns Kerrang!, Smash Hits, etc.) cash cow and that all seems rather sad for them, really, since I can't honestly see them breaking with the current arrangement.
(This entry on the I Hate Prep blog will probably make all fans of Proper Real Rock boil with rage. Although I think it's rather sweet.)
The fact remains, whether it should or not, that if you style your Myspace like My Dying Bride then people are going to expect something a bit darker than "the light swings and I'm scared cus no one's there" in the lyrical department; either this is all an entertaining romp and ought to admit it, since there's nothing better than a good romp or it's got to do a lot better than that, frankly. Whilst some ludicrously overblown quasi-gothic absurdity can press all my buttons (having spent the last few days listening to The Rasmus' discography) I can't take this song seriously; it might well appeal to me if I thought it was a bit jokey but this just comes across as rather confused and forced.
'Parallel Worlds' is, in my opinion, their weakest single yet and whilst I understand the temptation to re-release it, given that it didn't do as well as their subsequent releases have the first time round, I personally would have killed it. The guitar solo is almost laughably weak, the lyrics are clumsy, the tune is 'alright' at best. Dressing it up as a searing blast through the imagination of Edgar Allen Poe doesn't change the fact it's a '90s Vienetta advert.
This is... well, functional music, I suppose. It's a song with a chorus and some verses and things but it's ...essentially, it's just not good. It's neither speaking to me nor entertaining me, it's just making me cringe a little. I'm not elitist enough to think Elliot Minor have no right to put slightly gothic strains into their music or to say 'omgz, not real rock wot fags har har har' or something equally flat-out offensively stupid but just because they've got every right to release something which, err, sucks, doesn't mean it doesn't suck.
That all said, I'd totally do the keyboard player.