Elephant Gym - Shell - live at Small Pond

- Exclusive Video Premier -

This song originally appeared on Elephant Gym's latest full length LP released on November 14, 2018 entitled "Underwater"


On the studio album version of this song the vocals are by Cudjiy Ija karivuwan and sound similar to throat singing, being a deep and guttural sound, however Bassist KT Chang is singing in this live version. This change makes the song sound not quite as ominous as the original version.. however the song still remains gloomy overall.


"Shell" is like a rumbling thunderstorm with clashes of lighting from the cymbals like lightning bolts flashing in the night sky. A slow and steady pace is laid out by the musicians from the beginning and followed through until the ending. Guitarist Tell Chang gently strums the strings and expertly uses a variety of techniques such as noodling, diminished chord strumming and single note plucking. The drumming pattern executed by drummer Chia-Chin Tu is like a marching beat with sextuplet rolls at unexpected times. This drumming pattern although in 4/4 is so intricate it's hard to predict at times. Rim tapping intermixed with staggered tom rolls create a unique energy. The closed hi-hat rolls bring a particularly mathy aspect to the song. KT Chang utilizes a mix of different techniques on the bass such as chordal strumming, two handed tapping, and of course common finger-plucking. Shell has an eerie haunting atmosphere to it but the entities that dwell within it aren't evil, just spooky. This song didn't make an initial impression on me when I reviewed the full album but upon deeper inspection there is quite a lot going on here. I should have paid more attention to it. I want to thank Elephant Gym again for Headlining The Math Rock Times 1st Music Festival last year. They absolutely nailed it and I couldn't be more impressed every time I see them perform.

- M Chan

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