Hailing from Toms River, NJ, Elevator Art's six members (Daimon, Jen, Joe, Liz, Maureen and Mike) create an infectious sound that is difficult to pinpoint. Perhaps it is in the multiple vocalists, or the range of instruments used that draw the listener in, but the result is music that is clever, and energetic, with a stage performance to match. By breaking the fourth wall between the stage and the audience Elevator Art will have you feeling like a part of the band in no time. An average performance includes witty lyrics, catchy guitar licks, keyboard solos, megaphones, party horns, flute, and engaging vocals from all six members proving the point that art is a verb. Elevator Art wields a timeless rock sound that will have even the most committed wallflowers tapping their toes.
Daimon Santa Maria - Vocals, keys, and Guitar.
Michael Jonin - Vocals and Guitar.
Jennifer Mustachio - Vocals and Bass
Maureen McGowan - Vocals and Percussion
Elizabeth Dayback - Vocals and Guitar
Joseph La Scola - drums and percussion
Elevator Art (Self Titled) - 2010
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The first thing that strikes me about this New Jersey based group is the diversity in musical styles...The first thing that strikes me about this New Jersey based group is the diversity in musical styles on this, their debut album. The tracks range from bluesy to pop rock to folksy to almost psychedelic. The second thing that strikes me is how big the sound is. I guess that’s not surprising, considering that this is a five-piece outfit, with four of the members sharing vocal duties. The one thing these tracks do seem to share in common is a decidedly 70s undercurrent. The album opens with “Matryoshka,” an upbeat pop tune with harmonized vocals, jangly guitars and driving drum beats. I really like “Raised by Wolves,” a very folksy tune that starts out with quiet guitar and a little girls singing some really sad lines, begging her daddy to spend some time with her. It quickly jumps to a more raucous rock tune, with what is supposed to be the now grown-up girl singing about how her life turned out. “Punch & Judy” is very much a 70s prog rock track, in the vein of the likes of Led Zepplin. “Gingerbread Veterans” sounds sort of like a children’s folk song in its simplicity. “How the Day Finds You” sounds just as you would expect from the title, just kind of easy, breezy, footloose, kind of happy-go-lucky ambling along folksy stuff. It really sounds so 70s. I really like “Deja Voodoo,” a song about repetition, a song about repetition (that’s the opening of the track, ha ha). It’s a bouncy tune that really catches me. “Blah Blah Blah is another good one that is very soulful, both in sound and in lyrical content (it’s about religion), and it should have been the closer – it’s a strong song. But an untitled “hidden” track closes things out, with very traditional acoustic folk stuff. Overall an interesting, fun listen.
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There's nothing like having four lead vocalists and four songwriters to spice up the creative proces...There's nothing like having four lead vocalists and four songwriters to spice up the creative process for a band. Toms River, New Jersey's Elevator Art revels in their multi-voiced persona, veering across a multi-faced musical topography to whatever styles or sounds pique their interest. Daimon Santa Maria (vox/keys/guitar/bass); Mike Jonin (guitar/bass/vox); Jennifer Mustachio (guitar/vox/bass/percussion) and Maureen McGowan (guitar/vox/percussion) surf the waves of percussionist Joe La Scola across the thirteen songs on Elevator Art's self-titled debut album.
Elevator Art opens with Matryoshka, an energetic rocker featuring solid vocal harmonies and a garage element to the sound that makes for great listening. Elevator Art makes their case as inventive arrangers on "Matryoshka", veering all over the map sonically while somehow maintaining a sense of coherency in the song. "Peter Rabbit" examines a troubled family with explosive potential and the neighborhood inertia that allows paths to decay. It's an interesting sociological study in song worth listening to. "Raised By Wolves" addresses the damage dysfunctional parents/families can inflict on children. Cloaked in an alternately folky and muscular rock arrangement, "Raised By Wolves" highlights the anger and adjustments that grow within the children in such arrangements. "Punch & Judy" has limited lyrics, but plays well as a threatening to come off the rails rock instrumental for most of the song. It's a great listen.
"Autumn Epitaph" is a plea for consistency with a country/punk feel that's charming. Daimon Santa Maria is solid on lead vocals and Jennifer Mustachio supports with supple harmony. "Gingerbread Veterans" and "How Does The Day Find You" march on the edge of muttering madness in serene but poignant post-pop arrangements on the way to "Holland Flowers", which may be the most distinctly pop tune on the album. There's a Beatles-esque melodic sense to the song, a vaguely twisted number that alternates love and disaffection in a number so catchy you'll be bouncing your knee before Elevator Art gets through the first four bars. "Deja Voodoo" is a whimsical, stream-of-conscious exercise that's a fun listen and exploits some of the more obtuse angles of Elevator Art's collective wit. "Blah Blah Blah" decries empty talk in an energetic jam tune that could probably expand forever live as per Elevator Art's whim. The band closes with an untitled track that strips down the sound and allows the vocals of Santa Maria and Mustachio to stand front and center. It's a nice way to sign off.
Elevator Art is a bit out there. You may not follow all of their lyrical expositions, but the band can play and has a knack for nifty, occasional counter-intuitive arrangements that run the gamut from rock to jam to pop with folk thrown into the mix. It's a great sound that packs the right mix of mellow and edge. Elevator Art is definitely worth getting to know.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
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Elevator Art is a new five member band based in The Toms River, New Jersey...and this is their debut...Elevator Art is a new five member band based in The Toms River, New Jersey...and this is their debut full-length release. The band members have all been friends since attending local high school together. Part of what makes this album interesting and different is the fact that the band has four lead singers. This makes for quite a bit of diversity in terms of sounds and styles...and it also makes for some interesting harmonies. While these songs fit comfortably in the pop genre, there are plenty of twists and turns in the music that prevent the songs from sounding predictable or samey. Plenty of stuff to dig on this groovy twelve song CD...but our own particular favorites include "Peter Rabbit," "Autumn Epitaph," "My Glass," and "Blah Blah Blah."
Elevator Art Self-Titled CD Has Solid Orchestration
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The first thing that stands out on Elevator Art's official biography is the fact that four of the fi...The first thing that stands out on Elevator Art's official biography is the fact that four of the five band members take on vocal roles. The outcome is an explosion of bluesy, percussion heavy rock pop sounds.
In "Punch & Judy" not only does the song have this incredible pace and potent opening, there is something Robert Plant about the vocals. In "Matryoshka" Elevator Art's ability to put together a song that builds evenly, and punches at the right moment. The beginning vocals are echoes of the strong harmony; the guitar orchestration that follows is coupled with the oh-so-nice percussion. This writer enjoyed the guitar work the most.
New Jersey Outfit
Elevator Art is comprised of Michael Jonin (vocals, guitar, bass), Daimon Santa Maria (vocals, guitar, keys, bass), Jennifer Mustachio (vocals, guitar, bass, percussion), Joseph La Scola (drums, percussion) and Maureen McGowan (vocals, guitar, percussion). While each team member is an outstanding musician in his or her ownright, the end result is a stellar presentation of invigorating rock music. And, while this East Coast-based band honors the club sound mixed with European threads, it is evident that these Tom River, New Jersey stars are capable of infiltrating any listener around the globe.
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If you're anything like me, I can sometimes be a sucker for names. True Blood, Tiger Woods, South Be...If you're anything like me, I can sometimes be a sucker for names. True Blood, Tiger Woods, South Beach Diet, Apple, Dallas Cowboys, Crown Royal Black, Victoria's Secret, OG Kush: they all tend to stand out from the crowd. So imagine my curiosity when a new record by a somewhat new band called Elevator Art comes across my email.
Hailing from New Jersey, this group of friends have been hanging out since high school and are now making music together. According to their bio, "Elevator Art’s music is contagious and accessible yet challenging because the band explores a wide range of influences from track to track. Usually one of us comes up with a basis for a song and then everyone puts their input in on it and nurtures it with fresh ideas like it’s their child. One idea can start and then we all contribute to make a great thing out of it. People wonder about having so many lead singers, it’s about however the song speaks to us and what voice it chooses for any particular part. Because of this unity and the fact that we all like diverse types of music, there’s an authenticity that we bring to this debut album that truly represents what Elevator Art is all about.”
The group has a sound as diverse as Jet to Dead Weather to Cheap Trick. Their very first record starts with a song called "Matryoshka" and at first has somewhat of a ska vibe. It's both at once quirky and catchy, much like the entire album. "She's got a circus mind, she's got a circus mind spinning round and round", and " come on, get in, let's take a ride to the center of the universe" are some of the lyrics before the song ends abruptly. "Peter Rabbit" is a dark, enchanting epic with some clever writing: "The other day I tried to say I love you but instead I finally said hello. Your appetite for love has got you throwing up in your hands, 365 one night stands." The verses have a really great drumbeat and guitar playing. "Punch and Judy" has to be the best song on the recording: " I'm a social caterpillar and she's a butterfly", "I like you better when you lie" . And again, the drums and guitar sound amazing in this song. They give us a hint of both their potential and ability to stretch musically. You just have to hear this female voice screaming out, "You're just like beer in a wine glass!"
Another highlight is a slower tune called "How Does The Day Find You". It features a mellow sound with great vocals and harmonies and lyrics like "have you ever been so frustrated, have you ever been so god damn elated". It's an ideal song to relax and unwind to after a long week at work. Unfortunately the song comes to a terrible ending. One of the best songs on the record starts to unravel as the band sings "where do we go from here", and it's like self-fulfilling prophecy. Luckily, the record doesn't end there. "My Glass" is definitely a song to drink to: " My glass is half empty cause I gotta thirsty and drank the other half." As they say themselves, "If there’s one song that sums up Elevator Art’s sense of optimism/idealism, it’s “My Glass,” which is about the choice to look at life and situations as half full or half empty." The song ends with "let's drink to happiness if it takes us all night long then by the morning all our troubles will be gone."
Elevator Art is a great first effort by a new band trying to break out. They are unique in their lineup, talent, and sound. Oh yeah, and so is their band's name! We don't judge books by their covers, either should we judge music by the band's name or album art. If you have to judge, do it on the basis of music alone. As they themselves have said: "The songs on Elevator Art say a lot about our philosophies of life. We want people to “go” with our music, draw them in and take the listener into a new direction where we show them how to poke fun at reality by simply daring to be hopeful.”
Summary: Elevator Art is a great first release by a diverse new band that shows promise.
Elevator Art – Self-Titled (CD)
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“Matryoshka” is the first track listeners will encounter during Elevator Art’s self-titled release, ...“Matryoshka” is the first track listeners will encounter during Elevator Art’s self-titled release, and it is integral for beginning to understand exactly what it is that the band will set out to do here. The frenetic energy that the band brings to the table will remind listeners of Interpol and The Anniversary just as a more current and vibrant sound comes to bear.
Where there seems to be a certain flatness present in a great many indie rock recordings, there is a richness and warmth present to a “Peter Rabbit” that will stick with listeners long after the disc has ended. It is the cohesive nature of Elevator Art that will garner the most fans; rather than dividing things up into vocals and musical sides, each element works off of each other to create something greater than the sum of pieces. “Autumn Epitaph” is a track that can look back to early R.E.M. or the Violent Femmes, with a jangly, guitar and drum-laden track bolstering somewhat softly-spoken vocals. “How Does The Day Find You” is a meandering type of track that looks further back than other songs present here – I can hear hints of The Beatles, Neil Young, and even Credence Clearwater Revival here. With a number of diverse and distinct facets for listeners to tease out on “Elevator Art”, it becomes a question about what path the band will take on subsequent recordings.
The only thing that seems to be a constant through the entirety of this record, though, has to be the band’s drive and determination. While efforts like “Deja Voodoo” and “Freedom Cell” may showcase a two diametrically opposed sides to Elevator Art, it is this quality of arrangement, production, and overall sound that breeds familiarity in anyone lucky enough to pick up this album. Before buying any subsequent releases, I would like to see how the band’s context changes when they are in a live setting. The album itself is something special, but I feel that a set from Elevator Art would be something sublime.
Top Tracks: Deja Voodoo, Raised By Wolves
Elevator Art – Self-Titled / 2010 Self / 13 Tracks / www.myspace.com/elevatorart
Elevator Art, Self-Titled
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Are you ready for not one…not two…not three but four lead singers and a drummer/percussionist? If s...Are you ready for not one…not two…not three but four lead singers and a drummer/percussionist? If so, that is exactly what you’re getting from NJ-based Elevator Art and their debut album. The fact that this band is breaking the mold by including four lead vocalists is irrelevant here because Elevator Art offers so much more in return. Their style can best be described as all-over-the-place rock with no set boundaries in place.
The group is made of: Joe La Scola on drums/percussion, Daimon Santa Maria on vocals, keys, guitar & bass, Mike Jonin on guitar, bass & vocals, Jennifer Mustachio on guitar, vocals, bass & percussion and Maureen McGowan on guitar, vocals & percussion. The vocal dynamics between the two male voices and two female voices is right on the money here. You hear a perfect balance of tones and pitches as the five band mates bring their art form of music to life.
Just as a piece of art is examined differently from one person to the next, this Jersey quintet can be depicted in the same fashion. Going off of this concept further, one would say that an abstract piece of art is not easy to sum up in just a few words. This particular item would require much more thought and complex reasoning to fully grasp & understand the object at hand. Elevator Art is the exhibit at hand today and they are displaying thirteen new tracks that you have to take in one song at a time. One number to the next has a completely different meaning & purpose that demands everyone’s undivided attention. Soak it all in and please enjoy the Elevator Art show that is about to begin.
The diversity that these artists display on this new record is absolutely incredible. The fact that each member plays many instruments adds to that full pounding sound that you experience. The instrumentation is heavy in texture and the drums & percussive elements possess a dominantly bold presence throughout the album. You witness moments of classic rock, pop rock, alternative and even folk as Elevator Art paints a wonderful picture. The music is rockin’ good fun with witty & interesting lyrics that are both wild & innocent. You also receive terrific harmonies & melodies to go along with very nice grooves. You are getting so much fun-filled energy here that is powerful, funny and serious all at once!
This record proves that you can have a good time while also picking up on a few helpful hints along the way. The message here is to live life to the fullest but to also keep it all in perspective. Elevator Art is raising the bar with this new release by making highly creative tunes that are intriguing to the ear. You just might look at life and look at music in a completely different light after hearing Elevator Art’s finished piece. For more on these New Jersey natives and their brand new CD, SKOPE out www.myspace.com/elevatorart.
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elevator Art: Blending Voices & Genres
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“The vocal dynamics between the two male voices and two female voices is right on the money here. Y...“The vocal dynamics between the two male voices and two female voices is right on the money here. You hear a perfect balance of tones and pitches as the five band mates bring their art form of music to life.”
This is part Jimmy Rae’s raving skopemag.com review of Elevator Art, a band from Tom’s River that can only be labeled as Rock/Pop for lack of a more descriptive genre.
Michael Jonin (Vocals/Guitar/Bass), Daimon Santa Maria (Vocals/Guitar/Keys/Bass), Jennifer Mustachio (Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Percussion), Joseph La Scola (Drums/Percussion), and Maureen McGowan (Vocals/Guitar/Percussion) have been playing together since December of ’06, and they released their 12-track debut album, “Elevator Art“, on July 12, 2010.
“We were getting our feet wet as a group,” the band told penseyeviewnew.com. “There’s a little something for everybody. This album is a milestone for us because it highlights many different styles and is a sampling of what we are capable of.” In the interview, they also explained the difficulty of defining themselves as Pop-Rock.
“Sometimes we’re Pop-Funk, Pop-Alternative, like ‘Pop-Cetera’ really.”
They went on to say how they are going for an edgier sound for a follow-up album, which seems to show their comfort in diversifying themselves.
On October 6th the band announced to Facebook, “We’re gonna have some brand spankin’ new recordings coming out soon. Stay tuned!”
Until then, check out some of the band’s upbeat, fun music from their first album
There are no upcoming dates at this time.