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At War With The Elephants
(Moldy Floor Records MFR 003)
Review Date: Oct 2009
by Gordon Baxter
It has been a while since Alun Piggins last album, 2003's excellent Awaken the Snakes, so his latest effort, "At War With the Elephants" was eagerly anticipated. As usual Piggins does most of the work, and this time around he has left the horns in the locker, and only uses Eric Bridenbaker on keyboards once.
From the opening track ("Watching You Glow") you are left in no doubt that the line-up may have been tweaked, but Piggins has retained the overall feel. So the familiar big sound, great hook lines and catchy choruses are all still very much in evidence. There are shades of folk, country, pop and rock, all combined together seamlessly into something that sounds very contemporary. It all comes together best on songs like the excellent "Somewhere on Highway 2" with its Byrds-like feel, and the terrific chugging "Drunk in America" which features some great raunchy guitar sounds (think Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols heyday).
Piggins balances the more raunchy rocking tunes with several (musically) lighter interludes, such as the countryfied "Beckoning Door", "Empty House", and the closer "Hazards Still On". Lyrically, all three are tales of love and loss, but without ever being too melancholic.
"At War with the Elephants" is another fine album from Alun Piggins. There is a raw earthy passion to Pigguns' work, and that is what makes it so appealing. He always sounds like he is giving it his all, so the listener never feels short-changed. It all adds up to make "At War with the Elephants" another very good album indeed.
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