This one has been a long time coming, both for the band and fans, and I’m glad to have it on the speakers finally. Distances was recorded pre-2020 and delayed by all manner of unseen forces — from pandemic to pressing delays — all the modern purgatories of releasing a record in 2022. One listen to album opener “Train,” and that all fades into the background as Elkhorn rise once more into the psychedelic ether. Touching on some themes from their landmark Sun Cycle record, the band expands from a duo to a quartet, taking on two drummers for the session, Ian McColm, who has backed Daniel Bachman and Nate Scheible who’s best known for playing with Mark McGuire. They start things off in a cinder-scraped headspace here, with Drew’s electrics leaving creosote trails on the listener like a proper answer to “To See Darkness.” The band has added drums before, sparring with Ryan Jewell on Elk Jam, but the improvisational tone there hits different. In the studio, with Jeff Zeigler behind the boards, the duo let the forbidding pound behind them push the tension and turbulence to new levels. The patience has paid off and Distances feels like one of the most potent offerings from the band yet. The record is out September 16th from Feeding Tube.
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