posted Saturday Feb 9th, 2008

Omaha, Nebraska has been an overlooked outpost of rock'n'roll music for way too long and with the recent debut 7" EP release by the brilliant pop pioneers, the Box Elders on Grotto Records, it's sure to arouse even more suspicion. On first listen, these tracks of sparkling, yet perfectly muddy stabs at Lou Reed's pre-VU Primitives/Beachnuts-era warbling pop hit a high watermark and effortlessly fill out a 4 song EP with nary a dud in the bunch. Featuring the relocated Jeremiah McIntyre from now defunct Chicago band The Afflictions, along with his younger brother Clayton and Dave Goldberg of the Terminals and Boom Chick Records, Box Elders have that magical something in their brutish, yet nascent pop sound that really grabs you and instantly conjures up how familiar everything fits together into songs that you can hum along to instantly . With Jeremiah's deep appreciation for all things Redd Kross, it's not a surprise to see a convincingly legit cover of RK's "S & M Party" on the b-side, done with the tossed-off grace of someone who embodies the spirit of the songs way more than just how to rip them off. Great influences aside, it's clearly their originals that stand up and bowl me over every time, and you'll quickly see that it's just one of those records that's impossible to stop playing.

The two lead-off hits on the A-side, "Hole In My Head" and "One Foot In Front of the Other" have that distant-sounding perfect production (thanks to Steve Sampley) that's just so hard to achieve in this day and age of digital home recordings and general over-analyzation of production values. Almost reaching into the financially untouchable Phil Spector sound on the first track, it's just one of those obviously spontaneous and instantly classic songs that you'll know by heart after the first play. With the fully-loaded tracks that follow it, it's so refreshing to see just how immediate and impressive the Box Elders' rudimentary pop cuts through the bullshit and locks into a maxim that instantly sets them apart from the growing legions of stripped-down simpletons. Check out the two songs off the a-side HERE, and pick up a copy of the 7" directly from the band before the hand-screened sleeve versions are long gone.

Check out a video clip of Box Elders, courtesy of ppninetee, right here...