R E V I E W
'Redbird' album, by Elider
Guitarist for ‘90s Hamilton favourites Inchworm, Justin Harris is now based in Osaka, Japan, and has recently released his first solo album as Elider. Called ‘Redbird’, it is well worth checking out ahead of his appearance at the Future City Festival!
Despite leaving Hamilton over 15 years ago, Harris still has strong Hamilton connections, and on the album he is backed by various local, or ex-local, musicians; Scott Newth of Rumpus Room, Scott Brodie of Inchworm and Grok and Ben Cole of The Joint Chiefs and The Datsuns. Newth and Cole will back up Harris in Elider at the Festival.
Overall, the album features an array of excellent indie-guitar numbers. The tracks range from upbeat pop songs (such as the 47-second ‘Difference’, and domestic appliance abusing ‘Phone vs Door’) to sprawling epics (the over 8 minute ‘To the Island’, and closing track ‘Your Silent Face’). Redbird opens perfectly with ‘It’s Times Like This’, and it is no wonder this song was picked up by Wellington’s Radio Active, and charted on their Top 11 recently. Another highlight on the album, and perhaps one of the first songs you should listen to, is ‘Lift’ - a refurbished late-Inchworm song, which is a little pop gem.
Does Elider sound like Harris’ previous bands, Spatula Death or Inchworm? Not particularly… but not on a bad way. There is probably a greater level of maturity on show here, which is unsurprising given the years passed inbetween. Compared with Inchworm’s outputs, this album probably also has a greater level of coherence, being all Harris’ compositions, rather than a mix of songwriters (and singers) as seen on the Inchworm albums. Overall, I recommend you check the album out, and make sure you get to his set next Saturday!
- Ian Duggan