Post-punk and synth-pop were two of the more influential genres of the past few years. Following the path of The Killers, Elkland are attempting to recreate the energy and charisma of post-punk from the late 1970s and ’80s. However, Elkland arrive at the party egregiously late. Their EP, Apart, is an attempt to piggyback on the synth-pop revivalist movement poorly led by The Killers.
While the group boasts its love for synth-pop, its vintage equipment and labored hooks fail to reproduce an iota of the quality created by their idols. The band believes if its equipment is old, its music will mature accordingly. However, they play garden-variety pop — a coalescence of Jimmy Eat World melodies and pseudo lo-fi recording.
Apart is completely devoid of choruses and hooks. On “Salvation,” the lack of a solid chorus leads to embarrassing lyrical catastrophes such as “Salvation, salvation, salvation is great.” Uninspired lines like these clearly show the band’s basic inability to write a catchy phrase or chorus.
Not only are the melodies and lyrics sub par, but the subject matter rarely changes throughout the album. In the grand post-punk tradition, Elkland clings to morbid and dark subject matter but fail to say anything original or interesting. Three of the five tracks on this disc — and the fifth being a remix of the EP’s opener — are stereotypical pop songs identifiable through the titles: “Apart,” “I Think I Hate Her” and “Everytime You Tell Me That You Love Me.” In addition to the archetypal song titles, the keyboard riffs and mundane melodies solidify Elkland’s pop-trash status.
Apart is a monotonous, unimaginative release from an up-and-coming band. In a genre with living, touring legends, there is no need for mediocre releases and lackluster bands to taint post-punk’s reputation and cult following.
Rating: 1/2 star out of 5 stars