Your average Pachyderm may be a comical beast, but there's always a certain grace about the eyes....

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Tiger Man

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Tiger Man

YOUR AVERAGE PACHYDERM MAY be a comical beast, but there’s always a certain grace about the eyes. The lumpen racket of ‘Heyday’ is much more like the hippo: ugly, bloated, and serving no discernible purpose except as something that kids will point and laugh at.

It’s clear enough that Elephant have something of an identity problem, as they mooch moodily from fragile, Joy Division-style portentousness (‘Buttonhole’), to Numanoid nonchalance (‘With A View To The East’), to feedback frenzy (‘Serial Fucker’). The constant throughout these songs is the relentlessly grim, po-faced attitude. It’s not utterly depressing in a ‘Holy Bible’ way though, simply because there’s no personality here, no-one to empathise with, no real pain to share.

Prostrate at the cobwebbed altar of Ian Curtis, Robert Smith and every other humourless grouch who’s ever haunted a recording studio, Elephant fail to find a new angle on such overdone nihilism. With no original insights into the human condition revealed beyond deadpan doom-mongering (“[I]I need to get a grip ‘cos the world outside is sick[/I]”), ‘Heyday’ remains uninvolving and pointless.

Less [I]Dumbo[/I], then, more a particularly dull episode of [I]Babar[/I].