I can’t think of an album quite like Elastica’s first. Possessing at least a 50 percent plus ratio of potential singles to songs (give me two pints and I’ll be happy to present a convincing argument for most of them) over 15 tracks, I wont refute that they’ve probably heard Wire and several others. I’ll also be happy to point out that every song here sounds interesting, commercially friendly, and like no other band could have written it. Elastica are certainly no more deserving of an accusatory glance than Oasis (Beatles/Bolan, Pistols/Page), or the Libertines (Beatles, either producer’s band). In my opinion, this is the best of those three debuts, and I love or am impressed by the others.
The sound of the group and Justine Frischmann’s lyrics complement each other perfectly. They’re smart, scathing and antagonistic in a way that makes angst and outrage seem pathetic. “Line Up” jars its way into the laughter and pretty inspiring tick boxes. It riffs on a character called “drivel head.” I’m somewhere between head over heels and detachedly awestruck. “Connection” is just a mammoth, end of level boss with added flashing lights and prickly edges pop song. “S.O.F.T” has the kind of impact that I see being attributed to grunge in opinion pieces. There’s a sense of the ceiling opening up when “woke your mother up, you were on TV” follows the razor instrumentation. By the time it’s joined by, “now that you’re heaven bent, but it pays the rent, is it hard to stop?“, I’m abnormally awake. Mike Skinner hit a similar tone by different means on Original Pirate Material.
Aesthetically, they looked, emoted and conveyed the part too. Elastica is a perfect tonic when glazed by gender focused pantomime (either too tight jeans or armpit screams) or “look at me!” posture. It never fails to remind me of my occasional capacity to be a four letter word, that it’s nothing distinguished, and easily drags me back to serving best interests. There’s also a hectic, fun sweatiness to the bass propelled tales of Holstein export, spaghetti junction, waking up and paths of least resistance contained here. Subconscious wins over obvious and tenuous bias. These are the cool kids, or at least what they sounded like.
This album still makes me feel a bit jelly-baby-kneed. It’s my favorite Britpop record, and in the running for that accolade without a genre disclaimer. If you’ve found the exuberant rant above a bit unnecessary, Elastica is still a very good indie rock and pop-punk album.