Little known in Australia, Taiwan’s Elephant Gym have been making big waves internationally with their sophomore EP, Work.
In a genre usually defined by the over obsession of long repetition, insane time signatures and overt technical play, Elephant Gym redefine the maths rock genre by blending in accessible indie pop and a cool rhythmic groove. Amassing over 45k followers on their Facebook, this sonic formula is definitely striking a chord across the internets.
At the center of the 3-piece outfit’s counterpoint sound is Tif Chang’s leading bass lines and smooth vocals. The rhythm elements, played by her brother Tell on guitar and drummer Chia-Chin, take their influences from western math rock married with the unusual counterpoints of traditional Japanese, Taiwanese and Indian music.
Musically, Elephant Gym’s magic lies in their relaxed cohesiveness, never overly complex and always intertwining in the presence of good vibes. The EP is the third CD release from the 3-piece outfit hailing from Kaosiung. After bursting onto the scene with 2013 EP Balance and 2014 full-length album Angle, the young band was forced to take a break to complete their military service. Work is the result of their return to music in 2016.
The 5-track record breezes across an intro and into the first stellar track Midway (track #2 中途) with Tif’s atmospheric vocals, setting up the mood of soaring over rooftops and cityscapes. Shifting time changes emblematic of maths rock change blissfully with no pretension or rough edges. The funk feel takes it home for an unforgettable 4-minute track.
Another incredible song off the EP is Spring Rain (track #4 春雨). Uplifting and vibrant, the mainly instrumental piece features a bass driven melody that shimmies and slides across chunky guitar chords and a cymbal heavy upbeat. Tif’s vocals interject for a slowed break down, before the band takes off again, making sure that the audience is on their feet by its conclusion.
You can listen to Elephant Gym’s Work EP via Spotify. To buy their awesomely designed and packaged CD, the easiest way for English language fans is through Discogs.