Apparently Reno has stuff other than strip clubs and songs about Reno. As Brad Bynum, singer for the very excellent rock group of amphetamined reptiles Elephant Rifle explains, it’s hard to separate the band from their town. Maybe they wanted to escape at some point but feeling things was a long time ago. As American popular intellectual Aesop Dekker once described every town not SF, Reno is “some bullshit town” out of an endless series. But often times bullshit towns produce better music than floating artisanal Renaissance Fairs like Brooklyn and San Francisco. In Bullshit Town, USA, you can make sick as hell noise rock like Elephant Rifle or you can chew your own arm off. Entirely up to you. And when you choose the former we all win.
Elephant Rifle singer, Brad (arts and culture editor at a Reno alt-weekly and I can say without a hint of bias that music writers who sing in noisy dark bands are preternaturally kind and handsome), lists Elephant Rifle’s influences as the usual noise-nik laundry list of adolescent boy fantasy and least best Nirvana albums, but damned if the motherfucker doesn’t wail like Mark Arm with a head cold that may be something far, far worse. All the while, a rhythm section backs him that actually made me cry from happiness. The ‘90s skronk and roadkillery is balanced out nicely by metal moves (there may even be some boss double bass but don’t hold me to that) and actual groove and the occasional McClusky-esque melodic flourish from the vocals. The fury and frustration of expectations shot to hell compressed into 3 minute last chances. All in all, it’s way more a party than this gang of self-haters probably intended. And now, with the premiere of Elephant Rifle’s single, “Bone Voyage”, you can have some spiteful fun with them too.
Elephant Rifle’s full length, Ivory, is out on Humaniterrorst Record Collective on May 15th. You can pre-order the record here.