Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Album Review: Elim Bolt-Nude South

Elim Bolt
Nude South
**and1/2 out of *****

Nude South, the first release from this South Carolina, indie-rock 5 piece has a roots vibe with flashes of the blues and early 50's ballad induced rock and roll. There is an easy feeling throughout the 7 song affair that was the brain child of front-man Johnnie Edward Matthews III.  The vocals are clear and the obvious focal point at the forefront of every song with Matthews sounding like a slowed down/restrained Jim James, with touches of Roy Orbison's style for good measure. 

The organ flourishes on "Field" add nice flairs of sound while "Farm Kid" works behind stout drums, a droning tone and solid electric guitar line.  The most upbeat track on Nude South, "Batshit" marches with its stomping boots and "Only You" twists around the blues with it's waltzing tone and lyrics stating "Only You/Can Bring Me Down".

The overall tone of the album is very low key but "Alright" contains a growing sense of tension that works well.  On the flip side some of that same laid back vibe can be a bit dull like on "Myers Farm" and disk closing "Blue Jays".      

The production, tone, playing and singing calls to mind Monsters of Folk fantastic album and while the songwriting might not be as memorable, Nude South is a soothing and successful first step for Elim Bolt.  
Coming from the Hearts and Plugs label Elim South has crafted a solid first release, shout out to producer, organist and RtBE Interviewee Dan McCurry for his help with this one. Give it a listen here, and peep a video below of the band live:

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