With Elk City’s second LP, “Hold Tight The Ropes”, the NYC avant-folk trio presents its own strange vision of what rock music should be. Late 60’s psychedelia, early 70’s folk and mid 80’s first round indie rock meet head-on in the dramatic strains of “Once and For All” (track #2). And that’s just one of eleven similarly idiosyncratic tracks.
Guitarist Peter Langland-Hassan connects the dots between Neil Young and Johnny Marr and has a voice that blends naturally with bassist Renee Lobue’s. Lobue sings with a strength and passion recalling Patti Smith and Grace Slick and plays a Fender Rhodes Piano-Bass (a la Ray Manzerick of the Doors) instead of a conventional stringed bass. The band’s secret weapon, producer/drummer Ray Ketchem uses the studio as instrument to flavor the tracks with dark atmospheres and distinctive textures.
“Hold Tight The Ropes” is Elk City’s second release for the Bordelais Label Talitres Records, following last year’s critically lauded LP “Status”. Since signing with Talitres in 2001, the band has toured Europe three times in support of “Status”, including a Black Session on France Inter radio last may.
« Elk City’s a great little trio of dark and dreamy rock’n’roll that brings to mind a more contemporary take on Concrete Blonde, a countrified version of the Church – - or even a melancholic Tom Petty with fangs. Great songs, great vocals, and clever instrumentation that pipes in lots of atmospherics straight from Loveless dreamland.” The Village Voice
“Catchier than the Cowboy Junkies, messier than Mazzy Star (both of whom they recall), this Brooklyn, N.Y., trio specializes in an affecting strain of dreamy indie pop topped with rootsy influences. The vocal interplay between multi-instrumentalists Renee LoBue and Peter Langland-Hassan is a special treat, as are evocative, heartbroken tunes like “Once and for All”. Entertainment weekly
“On their second full-length release, Elk City further refines their blend of psychedelia, folk-rock, and indie rock. Presenting a caustic and vulnerable beauty, guitarist Peter Langland-Hassan and bassist (actually a Fender-Rhodes piano bass) Renee LoBue create strangely intense dark dialogues over a hazy din of ominous sounds” All Music Guide
“Hold Tight The Ropes” (Talitres, May 2002) // 1. Indiana – 2. Once And For All – 3. Smile – 4. Don’t Fight What You’ve Become – 5. Athens Botanical – 6. Rosemary – 7. Football – 8. Kmart – 9. Crimson – 10. Summer Song – 11. Back Into My Life
“Status” (Talitres, March 2001) // 1. dreams of steam – 2. mysteries unknown – 3. love’s like a bomb – 4. chocolate girl – 5. freeze two over eight – 6. groundbreaking – 7. solar girl – 8 fall out of reach – 9. california dreamin’ – 10. tell the people – 11. reprise – 12. don’t cha wait – 13. Trapped (european version only).