Image © 1999
Image © 1996
(02 April 2000) Atlanta-based traditional rock and roll band Alastor contacted
Musical Discoveries following our coverage of Sue
G. Wilkinson's recordings. Their latest album, Nothing For Anyone, is
another self-produced recording with eight tracks featuring the vocal work and
songwriting of Elizabeth Elkins. Alastor's music is not the type that typically
attracts Musical Discoveries' editors but we found their two albums a good
listen and serving to expand our coverage of emerging artists in the rock and
pop genre. In addition to lead vocals, Elizabeth also plays guitars while
Scott Roberts plays drums, gutars and an occasional bass part along with
backing vocals. The third band member is Brillo who is responsible for
bass guitar parts.
In an earlier review of the ablum, Hal Horowitz wrote, "Crooning, shouting,
purring, and sometimes even singing, like an uncomfortable combination of PJ
Harvey, Kim Deal and Patti Smith, Alastor's singer, songwriter, guitarist,
frontwoman Elizabeth Elkins demands your attention. And she'll grab it one
way or another." He continues, "On their second album, Elikins and her stripped
down rhythm section, which includes the multi-talented Scott Roberts on drums,
guitars and bass, backpedal to the late '80s when the Pixies (whose "Debaser"
Alastor covers on one of their latest album's two extra hidden tracks), were
challenging the mainstream with their mainstream with their controlled melodic
The band's debut album Javelin Catcher from 1996 was produced by the
band with Ed Burdell. We found the sound of the album simpler, a bit more
melodic, and the vocal work generally softer and clearer.
Horowitz also wrote, "Elkins is less musically agressive than Black Francis
and his merry men, but she pushes the same buttons. With crafty tempo changes
adding to a slightly funky backbeat, Elkins' tunes like "American Universities"
beckon you in while simulateously keeping the listener at bay with murky lyrics
like "twenty words are hanging in the still white air" which sound like they
mean something, although it's impossible to fathom that."
You can find samples at the
Alastor's sound revolves around thick electric guitar and the no nonsense
singing style of Elizabeth Elkins. While she certainly can sing, she has
a distinctively hard edge, certainly contrasting her physical appearance
(see the band's website for
photos). They must be a wonderful live act.
Those interested in a sharp contrast to much of the music typically
reviewed here should pay the band a visit and check out one of the band's
websites for audio samples. Talented musicians, their two self-produced
recordings are worth exploring and a nice listen!