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Sound Check

May 3, 2012
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By Chad Taylor
soundcheck@dmcityview.com

The White Elephant

‘The White Elephant’

Independent

You needn’t look very far to find a good power trio, as the members of The White Elephant hail from little Wapello and are happy to fill your needs. This is good, dirty swamp rock at its best. Ron Coleman, Tim Coleman and Chris Rohr have a sound that’s visceral and authoritative. The 10-track album is at its best when the guys crank the amps up and let those three chords rip. (See favorite track “Travel by Boat” or the Black Keys-infused “Devil Dreaming” for excellent examples.) But even when the guys slow things down, the effect is powerful. (See: “Last Night Stand” and “Every Word,” bearing a striking resemblance in both sound and feeling to the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.”) If you dig old fashioned, three-piece rock, this outfit is your hometown answer. CV

(The White Elephant plays a free show at Wooly’s Friday, May 4. Doors open at 8 p.m.)

Deviator

‘Halitosis’

Independent

I tried. I listened to “Halitosis” twice in a row just to give Deviator the benefit of the doubt, and to make sure I didn’t miss anything. But it’s just not good. It’s entirely possible that the Kansas City trio is better live. I sincerely hope that’s the case, because there’s just nothing redeeming about the recorded version. Travis Kirschner’s singing voice is more of a monotone drone, the lyrics feel trite and uninspired and the guitar work of Troy Coots is uneven and parochial. Kirschner seems more competent on his bass, so you could start fixing the band’s ills just by putting someone else in front of the mic. But there’s doubt as to whether that would be a step in the right direction or just a finger in an extremely leaky dike. CV

(Deviator plays the Vaudeville Mews on Friday, May 4. Doors at 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $5. Superchief and Izzy Starchild open.

Want your new CD reviewed? Email us a link at soundcheck@dmcityview.com or mail a physical copy to: Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, IA 50312.



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