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Ivy Walls - The Elegant Universe

  by Russell Ferguson

published: 14 / 2 / 2010

Ivy Walls - The Elegant Universe
Label: Storming Seahorse Music
Format: CD


Routine 80's influenced indie rock from Los Angeles-based band the Ivy Walls, who can't make up their mind if they want to be commercially or critically accepted

The Ivy Walls hail from Los Angeles and ‘The Elegant Universe’is their second album. Comprising of singer Jeff Yanero who also plays piano and guitar, bassist The Count, drummer Adam Waldon and guitarist Ryan Varon, they have very much a standard set up for an indie band, and they cite many of the classic indie bands of the 80’s as a major influence such as the Cure, the Smiths, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride and the Cocteau Twins. You get the idea by now, I dare say? So, how do they sound? For me they sit somewhere between Maroon 5, the National and the Killers. They have a mellow easy sound. Even the faster songs like the opening song ‘Getaway Driver’ is easy on the ear. ‘Now or Never’ has a dreamier feel to it like an 80's song that is aiming high for the charts. ‘Down on the Blvd’ is another song that has an unearthly sound as though floating in an open space. ‘The Chase’ picks ups the pace and try to inject a little more colour into the album. It has a distorted type of sound that does add a little more depth to the record. All in all it is not a bad attempt. 'The Elegant Universe' has some decent songs on it with the inevitable fillers on it too. For me the album is a mixed affair and, while they try to be different for indie, shoegazer types and to a certain extend they do succeed, it does sound as thought they have taken many of the influences of the indie bands from the eighties and slowed them right down to try to add atmosphere and intensity. For the most part they sound like an act that has one eye on the charts and one eye on being critically accepted, but it doesn’t work. Trying to get songs to chart isn’t wrong, but it difficult to marry commercialism and uniqueness and I fear for all their good intent the Ivy Walls will be left out in the cold by both camps.

Track Listing:-
1 Getaway Driver
2 You Say Love
3 The Chase
4 Now Or Never
5 Moans in the next room
6 Message from Angela
7 Take a Ride
8 Ghost
9 Happy Clouds
10 Down on the Blvd
11 Soon
12 Clever Words

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