Elephant Uproar

Elephant Uproar

With the ongoing success of 2012's Hey Hey Cabaret, one of the steampunk scene's most respected names comes back with a largely percussive and instrumental album that's arguably its most accessible set to date. "Nevermore the Matador" starts with a few strummed chords from guitarist Scott Helland ("The Punk") and sparse Gypsy-style incantations from Samantha Stephenson ("Frenchy") before riding a hypnotizing rhythm and riff into "Isis Rising," a similarly enticing arabesque. "Carnival" sets the tone for the percussive end, which gets a touch of levity on "Rock Paper Scissors." The duo stays in percussive mode for the title track and "Orient Express," returning to a Moroccan (or is that Middle Eastern?) vibe for the opium-den seduction of "Dust and Sand in the Caravan." The shout of "1-2-3-4" before the breakneck speed of "The Chase" proves once a punk, always a disciple of Dee Dee Ramone. Interestingly, the duo's "hit" "The Celtic Sprite" comes as the album wraps up; it shows that Helland's previous stretch as a guitar-looping instrumentalist can come in as handy as his punk pedigree.

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