Elliott Brood – Ghost Gardens

Album Review | Paper Bag Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

For their sixth album release, the Juno-winning Ontario-based trio Elliott Brood have found themselves in unexpected reflective mood having stumbled across some old demos and song sketches that were thought long lost.  Revisiting these song ideas, the band have polished up some of the material that forms the basis of Ghost Gardens, a title that refers to those gardens that seem to thrive long after the original owners have gone.  In a way, this title reflects the fact that the seeds for these songs were sown long ago and have now been given the opportunity to bloom.  The eleven songs don’t necessarily fall into any discernible style or order, rather they’re formed under the influence of various genres; “Til the Sun Comes Up Again” and “Dig a Little Hole” skiffle-like in their simplicity, “Gentle Temper” almost Ryan Adams-like, “Thin Air” could have been recorded in the 1920s and judging by the wind-up gramophone intro, it just might have been, whilst “2 4 6 8” has an almost Clash-like approach once it gets going, hard rocking and attention grabbing through to the end.  The melody line of “For the Girl” could easily be mistaken for a Paul McCartney throw away from his self-titled debut, just as the dust settled on the Beatles’ tombstone back in the day, a notion echoed in the “Revolution #9” effects-laden penultimate track “Searching”.  Slightly eccentric, Ghost Gardens is a fine little album of new material from older ideas.