Waking Elliot - Weak Minded Like Me
Record Label: None
Release Date: May 7, 2013
You have probably never heard of Waking Elliot, and that's okay. We all make mistakes.
Not many people have listened to this rock band from Connecticut. They first hit the ground running after winning a Battle of the Bands competition for Connecticut-based Radio 104.1 and opened for 30 Seconds to Mars at The Webster. Soon after, they released their first EP titled 'Simply Pathological'. Check out the iTunes link, here.
After seeing them open for 30 Seconds to Mars in September of 2010 and immensely enjoying what I heard, I purchased their EP on November 26th of that same year, further confirming that this band was full of talent and potential.
Waking Elliot has also performed at Bamboozle 2012, as well as with bands such as Flyleaf, Drowning Pool, and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. They have been compared to bands such as Evanescence and Paramore because of their female vocals, but in no way feel like copies or like 'more of the same'. Waking Elliot follows their own path with a variety of musical influences.
But what makes them so special? There are plenty of unknown rock bands out there. Why should I pay attention to this one?
Ouch, that hurt. But I'm glad you asked. Waking Elliot is a female-fronted band, but you'll quickly recognize there is more than one female voice in their songs. Waking Elliot actually features two incredibly talented female vocalists, Mary and Allyson. Allyson also adds more depth on keyboard. Together, they create chilling harmonies and hit notes that very few would ever even attempt in the studio. Their insane range is a joy to experience live. Look up any video on YouTube and you'll see what I mean. Combined with Rob's drumming abilities causing uncontrollable toe-tapping, Kevin's slick bass, and Evan's guitar shredding, Waking Elliot collaboratively comes together to form the Megazord of rock music. It's okay if you didn't get that Power Rangers reference.
Fast forward to the reason why we are here, today. 'Weak Minded Like Me' is Waking Elliot's follow-up EP release to 'Simply Pathological'. Without a doubt, this is an EP everyone should listen to. If you like rock music, vocals that will take your breath away (no really, try hitting these notes and you'll likely bleed internally), and hard-hitting instrumentals, 'Weak Minded Like Me' is the album for you.
Let's start from the top. 'Lost Me at Hello' is a great opening track because it gives you a taste of what's to come. It has a little bit of everything. Evan's guitar leads us in as the music gradually gets louder. Mary and Allyson show off their dueling vocals with echoes of 'oh oh you lost me at hello'. Evan is also given a great little guitar solo right before the final chorus, which leads into the first of many chilling notes that Mary and Allyson sing in unison to wrap up the song. The lyrics are also impressive: [Chasing shadows just to feel their warmth / I know that you left them / You left them to give me comfort / And yet I wait here for your big reveal / Iím underneath the pressure / The pressure of your vacant answers].
'Weak Minded Like Me' is the title track to the EP. This song was released for your listening pleasure on SoundCloud earlier this year (link!). This song has very powerful lyrics, such as the chorus, "Go find out / just how strong you are / or if you're weak minded like me / For the love of God / I hope you're weak minded like me". Evan gets another infectious guitar solo right before Rob leads us back in to the chorus with a great beat as Mary and Allyson finish off strong yet again with a strong note.
'Breakdown' is likely the most surprising song on the EP. It's not heavy like most of their song catalog. It starts mellow enough and gradually builds throughout the song. It's a wonderful toe-tapper. For anyone not into the heavy nature of their previous songs, this one should be a nice change of pace for you. As someone who loves both their heavy and soft songs, 'Breakdown' certainly changes up the dynamic just enough to be the standout on the album. Mary also spoils us by unleashing one of the most ridiculous notes I've ever heard her, or anyone, sing at the end of this song that will keep you from ever skipping over it when listening to the EP. Seriously. You don't want to miss it.
'Hindsight' is the fourth song on the EP. Another great song, lyrically, it has its loud, fast parts, as well as its slower, calm parts. This song has always been a crowd pleaser, particularly towards the end of the song before the last chorus when Mary belts a monster note that seems to last forever, always resulting in thunderous applause. The only downside would be that Allyson's keys are barely heard toward the end of the song. It also seemed to be something I noticed in a couple songs, where Allyson's keys are not nearly as loud as other parts of the songs, but it may just be that there's a lot of instruments being played at once and to have them all turned up really loud might be sensory overload.
The fifth song is another heavy-hitter called 'Affliction'. It's arguably the heaviest instrumental song on the EP, and certainly a song that shows great vocal stamina by both Mary and Allyson. Again, I'd say Allyson's keys are a little quiet during her solo in the song, but overall 'Affliction' is still probably one of my favorites on the album because it's so well put together in almost every regard and ends on another vocal note that will make it really hard to forget this song.
The last song on the EP is called 'Heavy Hearts Don't Float' and is very different from every other song on the album. It's a somber way to close out the album, but by no means forgettable. It's soft, acoustic, and lyrically brilliant. The addition of strings also make it a joy to listen to. Overall, this song is like a cooldown to gradually bring the album to a close. It's also nice to see what I believe is Kevin's vocals joining in to the fray. 'Heavy Hearts Don't Float' is a great way to end the EP. It may be a little unexpected, but once you hear it, you'll know why it just plain fits.
The entire album of 'Weak Minded Like Me' is a treat for anyone who loves rock music that's well thought out, deep, and catchy. The production on this EP is very professional, giving them a great example of work to display their talents. Waking Elliot is a band full of talented individuals who are looking for a break in the music industry. After proving themselves again and again through radio competitions, opening for international rock stars, and through making connections at every show they play, this EP deserves your attention. And if you like it, come out to a show or send a tweet or Facebook message and I guarantee they will respond, sign a CD for you, and give you a giant hug.
Be sure to pick up 'Weak Minded Like Me' on May 7th on iTunes, Amazon, etc. And if you can't wait, pick up their first EP, 'Simply Pathological' available now on iTunes and Amazon.