The Movements – Like Elephants 1+2

8 Production
9 Composition
5 Mood
7 Instrumentation

It’s hard to put your feelings into words, conveying what you think, across several media and onto the paper. Even now, after listening for more than a month to this double LP called “Like Elephants 1+2”, I’m still not sure about what I’m hearing and I’m still not sure about what I’m thinking. As the first disc blasts out of the speakers, and the “Death of John Hall D.Y.” is introduced by the line “Stepping out of my mind…”, The Movements come in your face like a psychedelic version of the Beach Boys.

They come in full force with guitars, bass, drums, organs jamming out an anthemic main theme. The next 40 minutes are filled with a set of well-crafted songs which, sonically speaking, do the genre-designation of “psychedelic rock” justice. Interweaving influences from The Eagles and Led Zeppelin, the music on “Like Elephants 1+2” really manages to capture my mind. Where the songs of The Eagles come across as predictable – and by this I mean that the listener is able to follow the music, it’s short melodies and rigid verse-chorus-verse structures (call it easy-listening if you will) – The Movements create songs with a varied, percussive texture and melodies that take unexpected turns. It “Takes a Spark” is a great example of this. At first listen this song sounds like a typical ballad, a song that has some cheesy lyrics and an arrangement that’s a tad boring. However, The Movement take that same tedious arrangement and fill it up with melodies that are always a bit off the beaten track.

RELEASE DATE: May 2014 | LABEL: Sunrise Ocean Bender
Purchase at Sunrise Ocean Bender

Another thing that makes “Like Elephants 1+2” an interesting diptych is the rich palette of stylistic influences that it portrays. “All the Lost” sports a sympathetic surf beat, while “Ingenting Kommer Ur Ingenting” resorts to a wall of nihilistic noise to convey its message. “Winter’s Calling” on the other hand breaks down into a stoner rock-jam that reminds me of Baltimore’s Arbouretum, and everything is covered in a varnish that faintly reflects the image of Yura Yura Teikoku.

After having heard the first disc and starting on instalment number two, it becomes apparent that the music is good, but it seems like there’s something missing. There’s little to no difference in style between the two albums, which reinforces the feeling I get that the soul of “Like Elephants 1+2” is dead. There seems to be no life in this album, the songs lack sentiment and I’m not driven to use my imagination whenever I listen to the two discs. No doubt both albums contain a set of excellently written songs, but they fail to create a world for me that I long to go back to. Apart from the catchiness of the songs and their technical qualities in terms of songwritership, there’s little that attracts me to what they have to bring on an emotional level.

In the end, I don’t want to reduce The Movements to the point where they’re only suitable for generating background noise. “The Death of John Hall D.Y.” and “Redemption” are two songs that captivate me on a spiritual level, and they will probably be the reason why I will spin “Like Elephants 1+2” once in a while. Both discs work and they work well, but at the end of the day the music needs to establish some sort of umbilical cord through which it can feed its sonic qualities and in my case “Like Elephants 1+2” simply misses the boat.


Tags from the story
More from Robert Westerveld

7 Post-rock Tours You Don’t Want To Miss In 2017

Sigur Rós, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Mono, And So...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *