To many, London’s progressive doom purveyors Elephant Tree require little introduction. But for those not so well acquainted, their third full-length album Habits will be more than an ideal place to start. Following on from their 2016 self-titled album, Habits finds the band armed with their most impressive collection of songs to date, encompassing a wider emotional range amid gloriously thick guitars and timeless melodies.
The heavy quartet have clearly soaked up many varied influences across the years, resulting in a sound that occupies similar territory to the melancholic fuzzscapes of early Smashing Pumpkins, the blissed-out trippy heaviness of Kyuss and the triumphant vocal melodies of Madchester bands such as The Stone Roses and The Verve. However, comparing what Elephant Tree have created here to the past successes of their influencers does Habits a great disservice; this is an incredibly rich, vibrant and original piece of art in its own right. In short, Elephant Tree sound like Elephant Tree.
After the short pulsating intro ‘Wake.Repeat’ comes ‘Sails’, the first track to be released from the album, and what a song it is. Following a subdued rhythm buoyed by a repetitive, fuzz-drenched riff, the track blossoms into something truly ethereal with a gorgeous vocal refrain and some stellar guitar solos. Other highlights include the psychedelia-tinged harmonies and lush strings of the restrained ‘The Fall Chorus’, the soaring, life affirming melodies of ‘Bird’ and the hazy, cavernous closer ‘Broken Nails’.
With Habits Elephant Tree have proved themselves to be one the best bands of any genre in the UK right now and one can only imagine how grandiose these songs will sound in a live setting once our favourite live venues re-open. In the meantime, grab yourself a copy of this glorious album to play loudly at home as the summer sun begins to beat down.
Habits is released 24th April via Holy Roar Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Adam Pegg