It seems like every town and village has at least one collective of talented folks who wallow in funky, jazzy, jam bands that flourish on their home turf and wear the local hero badge proudly. There’s something to be said for sticking to your roots and accepting what works as long as it works—but does it work for Elephant Train? It may be too early to tell, but by the buzz that surrounds their live shows, it appears that this funky band with a side of jam has something going for them. To me, this album seems to be a fairly reasonable taste test of what one can expect from a live gig. The full-on energy and craziness may be lacking a bit in the recording, but you get an accurate representation of Elephant Train’s sound, which is horn and key-heavy with some jazz/funk dressings to liven things up. A couple of songs borrow from the twisted book of Ween while others sound influenced by a few of the local funk-party outfits from days past and present, such as Green Room, Bike and Cozy Bones. This is good-hearted hometown music with a positive edge that will get asses moving on the dance floor—and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Every town and village should have at least one.
by Nathaniel Bryce