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Elle Milano - Acres of Space Cadets

Elle Milano, Acres of Dead Space Cadets

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I HAVE to admit that when I first heard Elle Milano’s punchy debut single Meanwhile In Hollywood I was anticipating great things. Sadly, the British newcomers fail to deliver with Acres Of Dead Space Cadets, a loud and quite frankly disappointing LP.

On some occasions, their raw enthusiasm and unbridled energy reminded me of Blur’s Popscene, or the more angular sound of Franz Ferdinand and company. Elsewhere, they have the same big hooks and vocal histrionics of Muse mixed with the punk appeal of The Pixies. But the album never really gels as a whole.

Meanwhile In Hollywood is the stand-alone highlight, a song that effectively combined some raw, pulsating guitar power with a catchy chorus and the type of infectious nature that made you want to sing along. It also boasted some polished and very slick production values and was as brash and lively as anything that Oasis and Kasabian threw at us on their debuts.

But while the foot is kept on the accelerator pedal throughout, Acres of Space Cadets didn’t capture my attention in quite the same way. Quite often, I found myself bored.

Opening track Laughing All The Way To The Plank begins as though it’s taking a leaf out of the Kaiser Chiefs’ shouty book and actually contains another of the album’s better choruses, but after this, Meanwhile In Hollywood and the emotive My Brother, The Astronaut it’s decidedly hit and miss.

Stepkids in Love is punky and borderline obnoxious, Carousels wastes some pretty interesting riffs with a wragged, constantly changing tempo, Curiosity Killed The Popstar mixes unattractive walls of noise with quieter verses, and Katsuki & The Stilettoed Stranger is a punk-rock riot that’s been done one too many times before.

The album rallies briefly with tracks like I Know It’s Good But I’m Playing It Down and final track This Is How It Ends, which throws plenty at the listener, but the highlights are few and far between and the journey increasingly difficult to make. There’s potential but only in small doses for this Brighton trio…

Download picks: Laughing All The Way To The Plank, Meanwhile in Hollywood, My Brother, The Astronaut, This Is How It Ends

Track listing:

  1. Laughing All The Way To The Plank
  2. Meanwhile In Hollywood…
  3. My Brother The Astronaut
  4. Stepkids In Love
  5. Carousels
  6. Curiosity Killed The Popster
  7. Katsuki And The Stilettoed Stranger
  8. I Know It’s Good But I’m Playing It Down
  9. Nightclub Is Over
  10. Wonderfully Wonderful (All The Time)
  11. This Is How It Ends
  12. Swearing’s For Art Students
  13. Believe Your Own Hype – Always