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Elliot Minor - 'Parallel Worlds'

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:19 UK time, Saturday, 5 April 2008

Elliot MinorRe-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.

Two stars Download: Out now
CD Released:
April 7th
www.bebo.com
www.myspace.com/elliotminor

(Hazel Robinson)

Comments

  1. At 02:32 PM on 06 Apr 2008, Kerri wrote:

    I've always thought that this was the best of their singles, and it is always the highlight when they play live. I do prefer the old video, but that may be that watching that was the first time I ever heard their music so it is significant for me. And maybe that's why I've always thought it's their best single, because when I first heard it I was like *wow*. I suppose this is one of those times where people are just going to have a really varying opinion, and I do understand yours and get where you are coming from, I just don't agree with it. Maybe if this had been a middle single and they were rereleasing Jessica or something the original review for this song wouldn't be quite so bad.

    I saw them again friday night, great as ever. Little deaf in my left ear still. And met them again :D

    (PS Just so you know I tried to watch the video and it says its no longer avaliable or something)

  2. At 02:52 PM on 07 Apr 2008, lizzie wrote:

    your a b****!

    u dont music even if it hit you in the face

    fag face!!!!

    [Hey Lizzie? Pipe down, eh? You're making Elliot Minor look bad. Thanks! - Fraser]

  3. At 03:58 PM on 07 Apr 2008, Hannah wrote:

    Wow, there's quite some reactions to this review.
    I like Elliot Minor, and I like Parallel Worlds. I think the gothic elements are a bit more baroque and are linked to the orchestral influences in their music, rather than trying to crowbar their way into a particular scene. (But Alex looks very good in eyeliner.)
    This is the old video though... The new one has a ghost version of the band in and a bouncing table.

  4. At 09:38 PM on 07 Apr 2008, PBG wrote:

    oh dear Fraser, you've really put your foot in it this time....just think how many fans you're going to have snapping at you now!! We could have another McFly situation on our hands...
    I mean, I love this song, but dont worry. I'm not going to go all McFly street team on you :)
    Yet.
    xx

  5. At 09:40 PM on 07 Apr 2008, PBG wrote:

    Oooh, and I just realised that bit where you said ''That all said, I'd totally do the keyboard player'' ;) haha really??
    I feel very sorry for poor Ali now... ;)
    x

  6. At 09:56 PM on 07 Apr 2008, Kerri wrote:

    Ali was born in the same hospital as me you know!

  7. At 11:11 AM on 08 Apr 2008, carla wrote:

    you wouldnt know goth music if it hit you in the face to be honest.
    elliot minor are far from gothic and since when were they covered in eyeline.
    id pretty mush say your mind is f****d up :)


    xxx

    [You kiss your mother with that mouth? - Fraser]

  8. At 11:41 AM on 08 Apr 2008, PBG wrote:

    ah yes Kerri, I think you may have mentioned that before :)
    Haha now Ali has a number one fan....fraser!! Hehe...
    x

    [Not me, young Missy. It was Hazel who said she'd do the keyboard player. I'm just here to fend off the street team idiots. - Fraser]

  9. At 05:41 PM on 08 Apr 2008, PBG wrote:

    ah, right
    Okies then, Hazel is alis new number one fan....
    Haha sorry bout that Fraser, I'm glad its not you :)
    x

    [Not as glad as Ali is, I bet! - Fraser]

  10. At 12:36 AM on 10 Apr 2008, Kimberley wrote:

    I think that watching the video is a completely weird experience while listening to the song. They don't seem to mesh at all. The song sounds like McFly/Beach Boys, while the video looks like old My Chemical Romance. It just doesn't work for me. But I do like the song.
    And Hazel...the keyboardist?! What about one of the guiarists? ;)

  11. At 11:56 AM on 10 Apr 2008, PBG wrote:

    ahaha I should start reading the names at the bottoms of the reviews...I never do hehe :)

    Ooooh and I'm going to see Elliot Minor in 2 days, so if I see Ali I'll tell him what Hazel said ;) haha

    Hmmm, it seems the Elliot Minor street team haven't quite turned up yet....I wonder where they are?? I thought there'd be as many comments as there was on the 'how to destroy mcfly' feature by now.

    Oh well, its a good thing they're not here yet :)
    x

  12. At 11:15 PM on 11 Apr 2008, Tasha wrote:

    Oh god,
    You've made them sound like aload of crap!
    They're actually really good,
    I've seen them a few times live and they're brilliant.
    Their songs are all really distinctive if you hear them on the radio or whatever,
    I think it was a good desicion to re-release Parallel Worlds, as its the single that got most fans interested in them as it was on music channels constantly.
    And i've met them and they're lovely :]

  13. At 06:43 PM on 13 Apr 2008, Helen wrote:

    Dont take Elliot Minor and try to compare then with something, take them as they are, they break the mold and I, and many others think it works.

    Go see their live show.

  14. At 05:06 PM on 14 Apr 2008, tamara wrote:

    haha!
    omg this is one of the worst reviews
    you are so rong about elliot minor.
    and your saying their not talented are you mad they can play all sorts of instruments plus sing.
    and what do u mean their gothic ways they arent goth i think you need to go and look up what goth means.
    you really do bore me
    they are much better live and they are one of the funniest hottest people and their so kind.
    and maybe your confused about the song coz you dont no the backing story to it , thers a story behind the song (Y)
    i hate you :D
    and i feel sorry for ali saying youd do him . i dont think he would do you he could do much better than you:D
    goodbye

  15. At 07:01 PM on 14 Apr 2008, steph wrote:

    this is mad !! elliot minor are the best i dont see how u dont like them !
    i think all of there song are awesome and that they sud be in the top 10 !
    i hate this review and i dont think it should of been put up ! and if you dont like elliot minor dont say anything bad about them to people that do like them well i think that you are just jelous that you are not like them getting on the tv and having loads of fans !
    i hope elliot minor get really big and hav EVEN ! more fans ! go elliot minor best band ever !!


    ateph x

  16. At 08:14 PM on 14 Apr 2008, Stacey wrote:

    OMG
    how the hell can u write like that Parrallel Worlds is an amazing song and Elliot Minor is an amazing band nd jst cuz the song doesn't agree with you doesn't mean u have to go off slagging it.
    God there is people like myself who love Elliot Minor and love ALL their songs so stop writing negative reports on a band that is totally amazing and whos songs can beat out anyones!!!!

  17. At 10:06 PM on 14 Apr 2008, Hazel R wrote:

    1) I actually said they were "clearly talented musicians."

    2) I said they are NOT goth, that is why I find it weird that they have gothic stylings in their video.

    3) Elliot Minor would probably concur with me that their songs could not beat up those of, say, The Clash or Madonna just yet.

    4) You see there is irony in that final sentence about the keyboardist because some critics might dismiss the band as teenage girl fantasy BUT I have clarified that actually fancying one of the band is not grounds for loving them. I actively vindicating you!

    5) The whole point of reviewing is that you say what you think about things. Not 'a lot of people like this band so I have to say they're good.' That's called bad writing.

    xxx

  18. At 10:11 PM on 14 Apr 2008, Al wrote:

    I'm sorry people, but the reviewer is completely right.
    Even if this was a half-decent song, it would still be dragged down by the way that the label has seemingly manipulated the band.
    I agree that they can play their instruments competently and it's obvious they can sing well, but they need to find their own style to put those attributes to good use.
    The emo craze is going out of fashion and their (or their label's) attempt to cash in on it quick will not pay off with this poor attempt to mimic much better (and original) bands.
    And I cannot find any evidence as to why Elliot Minor are the "best band in the world". They have not broken the mould, they've simply taken little bits of other successful bands and mixed it up which has unfortunately not produced something good.

    And may I point out that the whole idea of a review is to present one person's (who is chosen because they are well informed in the subject) opinion. Whether you agree or not is another matter, and usually the review reflects most people's thoughts.

    Sorry I wrote so much; I just wanted to get my point across coherently.

  19. At 10:34 AM on 15 Apr 2008, tom wrote:

    I am consistently amazed at the state of education these days.

    I mean, it would appear that any understanding of opinion has fallen into a void...

    for what is worth, Elliott minor are alright. I'm not going to rush out and buy an album. There's bands doing what they do far better. Plus I'm cynical.

    2000-5 punk pop ruled = Mcfly + Busted
    2006-(prob quite soon, sadly) emo rules = Elliott Minor.

    can any one else see a record exec using
    Elliott Minor as a real life version of the Sims??
    "We'll have some eyeliner here, you gorw your hair out..WHERE ARE MY CANDLES!!"

  20. At 09:38 AM on 16 Apr 2008, malika wrote:

    i can understand where your coming from saying that the video doesnt fit the song but i was just reading something and it said that the song parallel worlds is based on a ghost that was supposedly in 2 of the band members flat in school. maybe this is why their video is so gothicy and stuff...?

    having said that i love the song and the video and im glad they decided to re-release it because i never even knew they existed until about 2 weeks ago!

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