Saturday 18 April 2020

Elephant Tree - Habits (Album Review)

Release date: April 24th 2020. Label: Holy Roar Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Habits – Tracklisting

1.Wake.Repeat (Intro)
4.Exit The Soul
5.The Fall Chorus
8.Broken Nails


Jack Townley - Guitar/Vocal
Peter Holland - Bass/Vocal
Sam Hart - Drums
Riley MacIntyre - Producer/Extra Instrumentation
John Slattery - Synth/Guitar
Nathan Hickey - Guitar


Habits is the new album from Elephant Tree and their first new release in 4 years since they released their critically acclaimed 2nd self-titled album. Which has became a classic within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene in my own personal opinion. It certainly put these guys on the map and remains a favourite album of mine to this very day.

So does Habits match up to their last album. In a short answer – YES. It truly does. Habits is a more braver, bolder and experimental album that you wouldn’t expect from Elephant Tree, The band could have easily made a similar sounding record to their last album and nobody would blame them for doing this. However, this is a very different record with Elephant Tree playing a more experimental style of music with twisted elements of Drone, Noise Rock and heavy amounts of FUZZ being added to their already multi-layered sound.

Opening song – Wake,Repeat (Intro) – is a mixture of Ambient Noises spliced with Droned Out Sounds with a an eerie Psychedelic Gloomy Atmosphere that is quite dark in places but it’s an interesting style of music the band adapt on this song. It soon builds upto the next song and that’s where the real excitement starts…

Second song – Sails – is the perfect song for the band to show their new addictive and heavy sound with a song that flirts between Post-Punk gloominess and the heaviness of Psychedelic Sludge/Stoner Rock which reminds me of early-era Torche in places. Add a distorted Noise Rock environment for Elephant Tree to build their music upon and you have a song that’s quite surreal in places but one that has a dark and warm addictive glow to it all. The vocals are standout with a 90s Alternative Rock feel to them but still sounding quite grounded as well.

Third song – Faceless – is where Elephant Tree start to bring some of their trademark heavy grooves to the album and yet still manage to expand their own musical horizons with Psychedelic Doom/Drone guitars moving along at a wonderful slow pace. The overall feel of the album does sound different what has came before for it but it also sounds remarkably familiar as well. It’s very hard to describe as the heavy guitars channel superbly executed aggressive riffs that remind me of The Melvins in many ways.

Elephant Tree carry on creating their dark musical journey whilst offering many uplifting moments of high quality Sludge/Stoner Rock that you wouldn’t initially expect especially on the next two songs – Exit The Soul and The Fall Chorus.

The standout part of the album is the final songs of Bird, Wasted and Broken Nails which elevates Habits into Album Of The Year category for these 3 songs alone. This is where Elephant Tree prove why they are one of the most important bands within the UK Sludge/Doom/Stoner Rock scene alone. As the band merge highly emotional lyrics with deeply rich progressive sounds.

Bird is my favourite song on this album. As it embraces many different styles of music that it’s quite hard to define it at times and that’s down to the sheer creativity the band have included on this song and the whole album in general. Add a gorgeous sing-along chorus and you’ll be singing the words to this song for days.

Habits is a deeply rich and emotional experience that only Elephant Tree can deliver. I expect to see this album to be mentioned everywhere as one of the best albums of the year. It’s already in my Top 5 albums of 2020. That’s how fucking great this album genuinely is.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Hold Tight PR and Purple Sage PR for the promo.

Habits will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Holy Roar Records from April 24th 2020.