Elias Hulk - 2008 Unfinished Business

ARTIST: Elias Hulk
ALBUM: Unfinished Business
LABEL: Old Blood
YEAR: 2008

LINEUP: Phil Clough - guitar, vocals * Gren Fraser - keyboards, guitar * James Haines - bass * Bernie James - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Beneath My Disguise * 02 Rock N Roll Life * 03 Heroes


When we reviewed the 1970 Elias Hulk album recently, the last thing we expected was to hear from one of the band members. God bless the Internet (and Bernie James, Ed).

But even more shocking was the news a CD/EP had just been released with three original players and Phil Clough who spent a couple years in the post 'Unchained' Elias Hulk before hooking up with psych pop heroes Pinkerton's Assorted Colours. As a fan of both Pinkerton and the 'Unchained' album this was just too good to be true, but the CD arrived in the post confirming the Hulk was back.

The question is in 2008 can these seasoned veterans still deliver the goods all these years later?

The Songs

The answer is yes and no. Let's start the negative first. This CD will not convince those who love the early 70's hard blues rock sound of 'Unchained' that an Elias Hulk reunion is necessarily a good thing. It's a tough crowd my friends, clutching their Vertigo and Neon label albums expecting musicians to live in the same purple haze time capsule they've hibernated into.

Time moves on and to expect Elias Hulk to sound the same as they did in the fever of youth is silly. With that said, on the positive Elias Hulk chose to release a three song EP as opposed to a full album. A wise decision I believe. Less is best has long been my motto and for a 'new' band to offer a taster of possibilities to come is far more tantalizing.

'Beneath My Disguise' opens the disc with a tasty blues rock number. To be expected really, but this is more American styled like early 38 Special with a bit of that old southern flavour.

'Rock 'N Roll Life' follows the same sort of sound that I imagine will get the local punters on their feet in the local pubs and buying CD's. While good, neither song really motivates this scribe to the point of gushing.

The final track 'Heroes' is definitely the creme de la creme of the CD. A nice piano based ballad with soaring guitar and keyboard embellishments much in the early Sad Cafe vein with a smattering of Ian Hunter. Phil, Gren, James and Bernie - just my two cents, but this song I hope you and Elias Hulk pursue further. Good stuff.

In Summary

Overall, 'Unfinished Business' is a nice little disc with hopefully more to come. Check out the group's web site and give these pro's some much deserved support by purchasing the CD or download. Welcome back boys.

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