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Wednesday, May 12, 1999

One Floor Below the Basement

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 1999 at 12:00 AM

The re-renamed Elevator Through (was Eric’s Trip, then Elevator to Hell, etc.) might be taking the advice, carpe diem, to an extreme with its approach to making records, which can be summed up simply: The first take is the best take.

Always striving to capture the essence of a moment gives the band’s risky and edgy song-chopping a sense of emotional immediacy that is hard to deny. Otherwise, we just might be able to dismiss this as more off-key, eight-track, musty couch lint trying to fit a misfit mold. And by now we all know that relishing in your own musical handicaps is about as interesting as guessing which new voice the little Pepsi girl is going to come up with next. Just when it seems that listening to three bored people is going to get boring, something happens on Vague Premonition. Rick White shakes up the sleepy soundscape on track four, singing an eerily perfect version of Syd Barrett’s "No Good Trying." Maybe too aptly named, but it works. Going for two great moments in a row also works when "Foggy Sea" follows with a moodiness that infects – despite the predictably lazy pseudochords. Elevator Through somehow manages to wash over awareness about the crappy mechanics of its music and move in for total aural seduction. By the sixth song, "An Early Raining April Morn," you just might forget that some Sonic-Youth-stuck-in-the-’70s oddity from Nova Scotia was the last thing you needed to hear.

Until you started listening, of course.

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