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Album Review

When the elegant voices of Diana Prescott and Ted Johnson come out from behind walls of swirling guitar, they weave some rather intricate songs. In the vein of Piano Magic and Bardo Pond, "Some Vital Function," the disc's leadoff number, channels a lot of emotion and creativity. Unfortunately, the rest of the disc doesn't sustain such power. Though their palette is generally flecked with lighter colors than the aforementioned bands', too many of the songs on Velodrome resemble that great portion of the shoegazer output in the late '80s and early '90s. Eltro occasionally strays from the format, but still seems too derivative to even be considered eclectic. "Say It" immediately recalls the '90s' solo spaced-out Lida Husik, and "Come to Me in Silence" recalls a cleaned-up version of Bill Ding. Most of the songs have an earthy quality which, when tempered with warm electronics, works nicely, but we've heard it many times before. And many of the record's effects just seem unnecessary. Velodrome's production has far too much gloss to give it any indie credibility, yet the songs aren't solid enough to find a place on alternative radio. They fall into that doomed-to-forgettable area in between. Should Eltro choose one or the other path to succeed? Certainly a tough question, but it just might do the trick.


Formed: 1995 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Forming in Philadelphia in 1995, Eltro began performing its brand of lush shoegazer rock around the Pennsylvania area while tightening its sound and putting together several songs. Releasing Information Changer in 1998, the group didn't see too much of an impact beyond the area and recorded Velodrome soon after. Longtime fans at Absolutely Kosher Records contacted...
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Velodrome, Eltro
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