Wiretap Records have released the 14 track Summer 2022 Label Sampler that includes tracks by Wicked Bears, Codename: Rocky, Reminders, Youth League, Little…
Elway – For the Sake of the Bit
For the Sake of the Bit - Red Scare Industries
I was a slow adopter of Colorado punk act Elway. In retrospect, I can’t really pinpoint why; I mean, they have all the markings of my favourite bands – the smoothness of Smoking Popes, the grit of Sundowner, and the pep and spirit of labelmates Direct Hit! These days, I have a strong appreciation for the band, but I can’t seem to shake the bad habit of tuning in to their latest efforts well after release. Once again, with the release of their latest full length, For the Sake of the Bit, I’m playing catch up – and loving every minute of it.
Elway’s strength lies in their accessibility. Stylistically the band plays a straight up and easily digested course of melody that occupies the space somewhere between melancholy and nostalgia. But as the first two tracks make clear, that’s a gross oversimplification. “Inches” is the quintessential mid-tempo, vocally clean track with the occasional gang vocal for good measure, while “Hold On” complicates matters by speeding up the tempo and having vocalist Tim Browne dig deep for some throaty bellows. It’s easy to see why Elway appeals widely across the punk community, especially when songs like “Crowded Conscious” and “Perfect Silence” break out into upbeat singable anthems and retract into laidback bridges. The band’s no-strings attached vibe is like that good friend in high school that never asked more of you than to be yourself. For the Sake of the Bit doesn’t succumb to peer pressure, and the result is eight tracks brimming with personality.
“Selfish Masochistic Psychic Trauma” and “Nobody Goes into Meteorology for the Sunny Days” deserves a particular shout out for fully developing Elway’s tamest moments into highly personal experiences. Invoking an underlying calmness, the track is the plugged in equivalent to an acoustic slow burner, developing a sense of emotion and reflection that should speak to aging fans seeking moments of clarity.
Overall, For the Sake of the Bit is a great exercise in calm-toned punk brimming with personality. In the scope of Elway’s discography, For the Sake of the Bit is a natural extension of the band’s already well established sound – and an unmistakable reminder as to why I need to put future Elway releases on my calendar!