Nothing For Design

Green Street Records

2006 CU Music Award write-in winner for Best Live Act elsinore has been doing more than just putting on energetic, enthusiastic, and otherwise darn good live shows all over town. They also have a brand-new album for your listening pleasure. Recorded in town at Pogo Studio and produced by none other than Mark Rubel, Nothing for Design is the band’s follow up to 2005’s congenial live album On Display. And this new effort is nothing to sneeze at, either.

From the first notes of the opening “Mind, Space, and Time” through live favorites like “Vampire in My Town” and “The Rise,” the band captures the listener’s attention with the very best that the Americana genre has to offer – engaging lyrics and a sound that feels like coming home.

The exciting ostinato chord progression of “Kate” allows the listener to latch on to the core of the music from the beginning and gives its listener the freedom to notice the intricacy of the band’s instrumentation. Ryan Groff’s vocals throughout are clear and brilliant like polished glass. The mellower sound of percussionist Dave Pride’s congas and bongos is a welcome change from the more traditional drum kit sound, and Mark Woolwine’s piano parts add a sparkling veneer to the group’s sound. Accompanying these is the unassuming bass playing of Chris Eitel and steadiness from Groff’s rhythm guitar.

Aside from the vaguely unsettling “Rossville” with its delicate guitar work and forebodingly effect-laden voices that sound like ghosts in, well, a room with a guitar, elsinore welcomes the listener in with open arms. With vitality and sincerity, Nothing for Design is music for a sunny day, and well worth a listen or twenty. And if you haven’t seen elsinore live yet, go see them already!

elsinore will be performing their album release show at Cowboy Monkey this Saturday, April 29 at 10 p.m. with opening acts Gentlemen Auction House and The Wandering Sons. $5 cover.

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