Electric Elms, a small four piece band from Fallbrook, CA, are hard to define. They have been around since 2014, and while they have recently taken a break from playing shows, they often play in North County, performing their little-recorded music which, in our humble opinion, gives their live music an extra dash of mystery, intrigue, and delight. In their beautifully constructed, debut album, “The Other Side,” it becomes clear that, although they have elements of classic rock, blues, soul, and country in their songs, they almost seem to enjoy being undefined.
Other than this album stemming from a range of different genres, another reason why it’s so satisfying is that all of the messages hit just a little too close to home.
The most prevalent genre in the first half of this album has to be the classic rock. “Devil’s Tongue” and “Leonard and Them Boys” both have a deep yearning for something (or, someone?). “Devil’s Tongue” has a hopeless romantic narrative concerning the never-ending search for someone he lost, despite everything being different. On the other hand, “Leonard and Them Boys” slows it down to talk about the pain and struggle of “Leonard’s sons” going to war. Although these songs contain generic themes that have been used for decades, they still manage to make them feel relevant to today.
However, not all of their songs are down-tempo “wishing things were different” kind of songs.
“Small Lines” and “Running from the Shadows” are both perfect examples of how Electric Elms are still rock stars with catchy hooks that stay stuck in your head for days. These songs are more of the “feel-good reminiscing of the good old days” kinda songs.
The best song on this album is perhaps the most moving. “Last Bus” is the song you’ll reach for when you find yourself walking home alone after a long day. Unlike the previous songs on the album, this song is one of the greater instances of their bluesy-soul style. The simplicity of the instrumentation along with the intimate lyrics creates a sense of being alone, a feeling that hasn’t been felt since the last time you missed the bus.
Halfway through the album, the band goes completely instrumental with “Fresh Milk,” giving the listeners an opportunity to focus on the band’s musical talent. This interlude serves as the end of the blues/classic rock section of the album, as the second half is prominently full of country/folk influence.
Despite the natural rise and fall of country music popularity, Electric Elms, with a little elbow grease and a lot of passion have put together a handful of alternative country songs that fit into the local music scene and attract folks from every walk of life.
“Down from the Clouds,” “101,” and “In the Lightning” are a few perfect examples of this transition by speeding up the tempo and adding country-style bass grooves. Of their alternative country collection, “Rough Times” is the one to listen to. The slow and dreary start of this song feels as though it should have been the end of “Last Bus,” making this the part two of the relatable story. After missing their bus and thinking about their mistakes, they’ve picked themselves up with this one. The uplifting chorus has a triumphant ring to it as the band realizes that mistakes will always be made, but there will always be another day ahead.
Electric Elms have been hiding in Fallbrook for quite some time now, giving little insight into who they are as a band; so their new debut album, “The Other Side,” is what we’ve all been waiting for.
They are rock stars, country lovers, and soulful dreamers.
They are intimate, relatable, and hopeful.
This album hits every soft spot for music lovers: the lonely classic rock ballad, the triumphant country return, and catchy hooks that will stay with you in the best of times, and the worst of time.
Electric Elms Upcoming Shows:
May 12, 2018 at Pour House Oceanside- 9pm & Free