Local Music Reviews
E.L.84 = Booker T. & the M.G.’s + Grateful Dead + Norman Greenbaum
E.L.84 are a suit-wearing, fedora-rocking band out of American Fork. Genre-wise, the band is somewhat of an enigma. They do not seem to consistently fit into any one particular genre. At its core, the band is primarily rock. The four guys consider their music as a “musical evolution,” meaning that their songs contain signature styles of popular music ranging from the ’60s all the way through the ’90s eras.
Volume 1 is clean and simple, though not devoid of entertainment. The band embodies elements from the early decades of rock by playing long songs, some nearly reaching eight minutes. Whether the song is short or long, each is filled with drawn-out instrumental jams with dramatic pauses between chord progressions.
The band members have backgrounds in classical music, so complex interplays appear effortless. The instrumental talent is both technical and engaging, moving through multiple electric guitar chords and upbeat drumming while integrating some stylistic, high-toned electric solos, especially on the track “Lips Hips Fingertips.”
Their Provo-friendly lyrics are sung in a manner similar to that of bands like the Grateful Dead. They’re performed with a consistent strength but are raised and lowered in tone as the musical notes shift from one melodic note to another. To support their modern sound while integrating multiple decades’ worth of inspiration, the lyrics are universal and withstand the test of time—for example, tracks like “The Edge” sing, “We’ve been workin’ baby / We’re just tryin’ to make ends meet.”
Volume 1 opens with “Civil Disobedience,” which is, at first, somewhat psychedelic-sounding, with low and slow harmonies. It then shifts into a quick guitar rhythm that sounds jazz-like before slowing again. Within a single track, the song showcases the versatility of the band.
E.L.84 play shows around Utah County and throughout the Salt Lake Valley, so keep an eye out for one of their sets and boogie down for a night filled with timeless jams. –Lizz Corrigan