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"Inside" (ELMERecords)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

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Fans of early David Lee Roth-era Van Halen are going to eat Elmer up. Although the band's music bears more than a passing resemblance to the music of Eddie, David, Michael and Alex, Elmer also manage to exude that playfulness that Van Halen lost when Roth and the rest went their separate ways.

Although vocalist Gustavo Santini sounds nothing like David Lee Roth, he's got that charismatic lift and party style that let Roth be less than a fantastic vocalist and still be one of rock's best frontmen. Guitarist Martin Verry simply had to come from the Eddie Van Halen school of guitar, but he adds enough of his own style (and that of Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and others) to stand on his own. Ariel Gambera's drums and Ezequivel Verry's bass are solid as well.

I'm trying not to damn them by calling them "retro rock," but Elmer definitely sound like a band from the early 80s. If you're a fan of that era, you'll love Elmer. If you're looking for Limp Bizkit or Korn, you won't find a trace of them here. Interestingly, one of the album's weakest tracks (and there aren't many) is a cover of the Beatle's "Paperback Writer." It's not bad, but their original stuff is better than their rendition of the Fab Four. And "Inside" is one of those CDs that gets better each time you play it. I'm on my third listen now, and I like this CD more than I did the two earlier spins.

Kudos also to Elmer's fantastic self-packing job. The CD is as professional as it gets, with artwork and inserts that are far more creative than one might expect from a self-produced CD. Speaking of production, the production on "Inside" is simply outstanding. A fine job, all around.

Elmer is: Gustavo Santini - vocals; Ezequivel Verry - bass; Ariel Gambera - drums; Martin Verry - guitar.

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Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 1998 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 29 Dec 2019 15:18:30 -0500.