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The best kept secret in music


""This World Is On Fire" Review"

Shape-shifting music, art and promotions collective ISP is home to some of the most challenging and intriguingly ragged entertainment currently emerging from the vibrant hub of the East Atlanta rock scene. Two of ISP's guiding forces, multi-instrumentalists Justin Sias and Eric Holder, also collaborate in the avant-pop music and publicity-stunt cooperative known as Elevado. With collaborators Cain Wong (guitar) and Don Dudenhoeffer (beats, sounds), the finely congealed troupe shimmers with an ominous glow on its latest release.
In this dizzy trajectory, melded melodies, harmonious noise, volatile vocals, inventive beats, and – sneakily imbedded in the mix – crafty hooks float amid an alternately tranquil and abrasive wail of noise. Elevado's sonic strike often threatens to implode ("Song of a Purple Man"), only to find splintery redemption ("Ribbons and Bows"). Peaking with the giddy, trumpet-propelled "Hypnopaedic Sunshine," the charred World hurls away from the known universe with an apocalyptic swirl.

4 [out of 5] stars

- Lee Valentine Smith - Creative Loafing

""Our Turn Came Tonight" Review"

Elevado's A-side, "Our Turn Came Tonight," is marked by sharp, stinging guitar lines set against a dancey, pounding rhythm that is both ominous and delirious. The B-side, "Song of a Purple Man," sorta has a crazy Keith Levene guitar thing going on top of an almost New Romantic delivery. Both tracks are totally keeping with the band’s retro-futurist approach, and are cool as heck.
- Stomp and Stammer Magazine

"7-Inch Review"

7-Inch Reviews for "Our Turn Came Tonight" & "Song of a Purple Man":
"Our Turn Came Tonight" is a hook-ridden blast of sonic pop-ness, the alter ego, "Purple Man," is an abstract reflection of the other: A small taste of the genius that is Elevado ... perfectly crafted pop songs that echo influences from New York’s ’70s legends Television ... a unique, gender-bending musical existence reminiscent of Bowie during his Low years. - Southeast Performer

"Release The Hounds"

Elevado, which features all former Athenians on its roster, celebrates the
release of their new 7" record. Featuring the tracks "Our Turn Came Tonight" and "Song of the
Purple Man," the record is full of dancey, intriguing rock. - Flagpole Magazine

""This World Is On Fire" Review"

Justin Sias and Eric Holder, cornerstones of the East Atlanta-based ISP collective also collaborate in the agit-prog music cooperative known as Elevado. With Cain Wong (guitar) and Don Dudenhoeffer (beats, sounds) permanent riders on their paint-splattered, veggie-powered bus, the troupe's latest effort finds them taking their chameleoinic sound to higher levels of sonic experimentation. Then band's monst coherent effort yet, World is an ominous yet glowing collection, with a considerably more professional approach that its previous, charmingly DIY releases. Now in the ISP label, the collection still happily resides on the outer edges of pop. Careening time changes quickly turn staid math into pure pulp for dialated pupils as the band plows head-on into a beautifully horrific black hole. Closer “Hypnopaedic Sunshine,” with its blissed-out “na-na-nas,” send the needle to the label “Hey Jude” -style, with a brazenly, chanted, post-apocalyptic glow.

- Lee Valentine Smith, Georgia Music Magazine - Georgia Music Magazine

""This World Is On Fire" Review"

GA's avant-rock maestros Elevado have returned with a fourth album that blends psychedelic guitar lines with low-end dub bass and electronic drum beats. After some keyboard noise, the CD kicks off with "Song of a Purple Man" which rolls and lumbers like "Poptones" from PiL's "Second Edition" AKA "Metal Box". Then the title track teeters between early Police and some of the early '80s U.K. anarchist bands like Zounds, The Mob, or even AOS3. The rest continues in this hybrid fashion, either as a more lackadaisical Walkmen, or as a less ego-swaggering, drug-cavorting Birthday Party. Personally, I love a band that keeps me guessing and Elevado does just that.

- Chuck Foster - Big Takeover Magazine

"Support Your Troops (Local Music News)"

Taking certain cues from the late-70s/early-80s intersection of post-punk, no-wave, cold-funk and Euro-electronica, while lyrically inspired by the events of today, Atlanta's woefully underrated Elevado mines a host of fantastic sources to come up with its intriguing, intense sound. The isolated dislocation of Joy Division, the shadowy angst of early Cure, the claustrophobic, sinuous and dubby Levene/Wobble days of PiL, and certainly Bowie (from any era) are among the many discernible touchstones the Atlanta band draws from on its highly recommended new CD, "This World Is On Fire." Throughout, they manage to balance a somewhat disconnected and paranoid lyrical tenderness with nervy sonic splatter. It catches your attention, and more importantly, holds it, not just because no one else currently comes to immediate mind with a comparable sound, but also because it's really, really good.

- Jeff Clark
- Stomp and Stammer Magazine

""This World Is On Fire" Review"

In the mythology of Nigerian people there exists a god named Ogun, the god of war. Ogun is a fierce warrior, a deity that is not taken lightly by Yoruban tribes; to cross Ogun results in swift retribution. But the importance of Ogun goes far beyond his war-like tendencies: Ogun is also responsible for connecting the Old World to the New World -- to keep the Yoruba people relevant in an ever-changing and advancing world.

Atlanta's Elevado is the hometown Ogun: the touring juggernaut that can shape and redefine Southern music and simultaneously keep it germane. The band's latest album, This World Is On Fire, is a beautiful, multi-layered cacophony of live guitars and bass with computer-based percussive loops and effects. "Intervention 1.0" starts off the record, recalling images of a Nintendo game's opening montage, perhaps everyone's first encounter with techno-based music. From there, the album launches into the dreamy, electro-pop rock (seemingly displaced from a Kubrick film) for which the band is known. The programmed drums sound clean and crisp and are difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

Highlights of the album include "Indigo Torch Serenade," where lead singer Justin Sias? vocals match the fragility of the lyrics, and Cain Wong?s spy-film/R.E.M.-inspired guitar riff on "Our Turn Came Tonight." "Hypnopaedic Sunshine," the closing opus of the album, sounds like a drunken Beta Band, tripping and falling over itself until a moment of clarity turns the song into a beautiful denouement.

Elevado stands out above the crowd with this album, pushing Atlanta out of the old and into the new.

- Chris Parizo - Southeast Performer Magazine

"Interview with Elevado"

You can't miss the van. Splattered with paint and often parked in front of ISP in Atlanta, the name Elevado shouts from its side, making anyone passing by wonder what it is. And on the surface, the answer is easy. It's a band and a pretty good one at that. Its members are Justin Sias, Cain Wong, Don Dudenhoeffer and Eric Holder. Together they create a sound that is chaotically appealing and charming, a lot like what the guys have going on besides their band, a little space in Atlanta called ISP. With an East Atlanta storefront, the group has created a venue, a recording space, a gallery and record shop. Others are involved with the space, making the whole thing somewhat of a family affair between some of Atlanta's more popular indie bands.

And just as the space is a collective, so is the sound on Elevado's latest release, This World Is On Fire. Although the songs flow together quite nicely, they are all a bit different, utilizing the various strong points of the band's different members. I have my favorite songs, like "Our Turn Came Tonight," a track that could easily play the soundtrack to a Saturday night as you go from bar to bar looking for, well, whatever it is you need that night, with the search -- and the song -- getting more intense as it progresses. Other songs, such as the title track, bring you a sound that sounds crafted a couple decades ago, back when you had to flip the record to keep listening. But my favorite song is "Indigo Torch Serenade," an almost-ballad that carries twinges of Morrissey and Velvet Underground.

You can find the album in independent rock stores in the city, at the ISP Web site or at their CD release show Thursday night at the EARL in Atlanta. Read below for the interview with Justin Sias. And be sure to listen to the Georgia Music Show tomorrow night because not only does the famous Adam Bomb interview them on-air but Elevado will play a few songs as well. It'll come on between 6 and 8 p.m. tomorrow and you can find it at 88.5 on your FM dial.

Pine Magazine/Nicole Diver: To start, how many releases do you guys already have?

Justin Sias/Elevado: This will be our fourth CD. We also released a 7-inch last fall called "Our Turn Came Tonight" and it is one of the songs, albeit remixed, on This World is on Fire.

PM: What about this new release? Where was it recorded?

JS: The majority of This World is on Fire was originally tracked and written during a 2006 East Coast tour. We wanted to test the theory that we play our best while touring, and wanted to capture the spontaneity of those moments. Eric Holder, at the time, was our manager, and urged us to take his field unit Tascam 4 track with us. Cain Wong, our guitarist, diligently set it up every night and got a variety of live takes. During downtime, we overdubbed vocals and various instrumentation.

Once back from tour, we tracked a variety of sounds in different parts of Cain's house, stairwells, bathrooms, kitchen; basically anywhere we could capture unique sonic character and added Eric to the band around that time as Fun Station Leader, which to us meant giving our recordings and live shows a more carnival-esque quality (accordions, delay-drenched trumpets)... helping take us out of a traditional rock format. However, the result was an added layer of darkness and melancholy and for some reason it fit perfectly.

PM: Are you excited about it?

JS: Yes, of course! It was our first time using electronic drums since our debut release "Occidental Oriental" and our most cohesive effort to date. I'm personally very happy with the vocal sound on the title track (and others) as we intentionally blew out the levels on the 4-track to capture a very cool analog distortion, aiming to take the listener through the coarseness of history, yet with distorted drumbeats and sounds from an unknown ancient future.

PM: Is its sound similar to the ones before it?

JS: Actually, every Elevado album has a completely different sound. Because of the electronic drums and trumpet, accordion, etc - this is our most danceable and festive record. Percussion tends to be the most obvious difference, album to album. While Sterilized is our most stripped down, Mark Duca played drums on that one and he had a somewhat loose and dare I say "indie" style, Jonathan Vance from Divided Like a Saint's stepped up for Dedicated To The Memory, bringing an almost prog/angular/abrasive element to the music. Our first release, the electronically-enhanced Occidental Oriental was recorded over the Internet in multiple cities and was somewhat of a compilation of four songwriters with multiple singers. It is a pretty mellow record as it was mostly tracked in different apartments. We even got my wife, singer-songwriter Kitty Snyder, to sing a few tracks on that one.

PM: How long has the band been together? Maybe a little history?

JS: This all began in 2001 when we left Athens. We'd all been in separate bands and joked about starting a new ba - Pine Magazine

"Elevado at SCMX"

Elevado is one of the bands to watch in the burgeoning East Atlanta music scene. Originally founded by cross-country songwriting collaborations, the band has habitated the hippest corners of Athens and Atlanta. While releasing a series of constantly-evolving and sonically challenging alternative pop music, the band has amassed a dedicated following while engaging in a number of amusing promotional stunts, such as a recent bus race. Their newest release, This World Is On Fire, will surely keep them on the road in their multi-colored, veggie-powered vehicle. Justin Sias and Eric Holder talked about the band with CL’s Lee Valentine Smith before they played the CL-sponsored side-stage.

(Go to http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/sideshow/2007/05/14/elevado-at-scmx-friday-may-11-2007/ to listen to the interview.)

- Lee Valentine Smith
- Creative Loafing


This World Is On Fire (2007) - EP
Our Turn Came Tonight (2006) - 7-inch
Dedicated To The Memory (2005) - LP
Sterilized (2004) - EP
Occidental Oriental (2003) - LP



WEGL - Auburn University - AL
KAMP - Tucson - AZ
KXCI - Tucson - AZ
CITR - Vancouver - BC
CFUV - Victoria - BC
KHSU - Arcata - CA
KUCI - Irvine - CA
KVMR - Nevada City - CA
KSSU - Sacramento - CA
KZSC - Santa Cruz - CA
KVCU - Boulder - CO
KBUT - Crested Butte - CO
KDUR - Durango - CO
KCSU - Fort Collins - CO
KOTO - Telluride - CO
WQAQ - Hamden - CT
WFCS - New Britain - CT
WHUS - Storrs - CT
WWUH - West Hartford - CT
WUOG - Athens - GA
WRAS - Atlanta – GA
WREK – Atlanta - GA
URH - Hilo - HI
KTUH - Honolulu - HI
KURE - Ames - IA
KUNI - Cedar Falls - IA
KRUI - Iowa City - IA
KRNL - Mt. Vernon - IA
WUIC - Chicago - IL
WRDP - Chicago - IL
WRSE - Elmhurst - IL
WMXM - Lake Forest - IL
WIUX - Bloomington - IN
WFHB - Bloomington - IN
WCRD - Muncie - IN
WVFI - Notre Dame - IN
WECI - Richmond - IN
WVUR - Valparaiso - IN
WRFL - Lexington - KY
KRVS - Lafayette - LA
KSCL - Shreveport - LA
WTBU - Boston - MA
WTCC - Springfield - MA
WKKL - West Barnstable - MA
WSKB - Westfield - MA
WCFM - Williamstown - MA
WMUC - College Park - MD
WERU - East Orland - ME
WMPG - Portland - ME
WRFR - Rockland – ME
WDBM - East Lansing - MI
WIDR - Kalamazoo - MI
WXOU - Rochester - MI
WNMC - Traverse City - MI
KUOM - Minneapolis - MN
KSTO - Northfield - MN
KRLX - Northfield - MN
KSLU-1 - St. Louis - MO
KDHX - St. Louis - MO
KGLT - Bozeman - MT
WAKE - Winston-Salem - NC
WSCA - Portsmouth - NH
WTSR - Ewing - NJ
WGLS - Glassboro - NJ
RLC - Piscataway - NJ
WMSC - Upper Montclair - NJ
CHMR - St. Johns - NL
KRUX - Las Cruces - NM
WCDB - Albany - NY
WRUB - Amherst - NY
WXBC - Annandale-on-Hudson - NY
WSLC - Bronxville - NY
WBNY - Buffalo - NY
WRCU - Hamilton - NY
WICB - Ithaca - NY
WFNP - New Paltz - NY
Griffin Radio - New York - NY
WNYO - Oswego - NY
WVKR - Poughkeepsie - NY
WRUR - Rochester - NY
WITR - Rochester - NY
WSIA - Staten Island – NY
ACRN - Athens - OH
WOUB - Athens - OH
WMCO - New Concord - OH
WMUH - Allentown - PA
WUPJ - Johnstown - PA
WKDU - Philadelphia - PA
WPTS - Pittsburgh - PA
WVIA - Pittston - PA
WYBF - Radnor - PA
WUSR - Scranton - PA
WCUR - West Chester - PA
WVYC - York - PA
KTCU - Fort Worth - TX
KTRU - Houston - TX
KRTU - San Antonio - TX
KZMU - Moab - UT
KRCL - Salt Lake City - UT
WUVT - Blacksburg - VA
WODU - Norfolk - VA
WDCE - Richmond - VA
WRUV - Burlington - VT
KUGS - Bellingham - WA
KCWU - Ellensburg - WA
KZUU - Pullman - WA
Rainy Dawg Radio - Seattle - WA
KWCW - Walla Walla - WA
KYVT - Yakima - WA
WORT - Madison - WI
WMSE - Milwaukee - WI
WWSP - Stephens Point - WI
WSUW - Whitewater - WI

All releases available for listening/purchase at www.elevado.com


Feeling a bit camera shy



Meet Elevado
an Atlanta band whose label, venue, record store, veggie-diesel bus and live shows are currently being covered by The Big Takeover, Stomp and Stammer Magazine, Creative Loafing, the Atlanta-Journal & Constitution, and Performer Magazine.

Elevado’s story began in Athens, Ga.
when Justin Sias and wife Kitty Snyder (Pitch-A-Tent Records) collaborated –through online file sharing – with former Athenians Cain Wong and Mark Duca – both living in Los Angles – and Don Dudenhoeffer to produce Elevado’s first album, the transatlantic “Occidental Oriental” (2003).

Their headquarters, The ISP Space (located in the East Atlanta Village next door to The Earl –Atlanta’s most popular indie venue), is a cavernous space that houses video installations, paintings and mix media exhibits, cds, vinyl and other merchandise from local and national bands that have played there.

Scheduled to release seven CDs this year, the label they run, ISP: www.isp-music.com, started in Athens during the late nineties and quickly regained speed in Atlanta last year by releasing three 7-inch singles (Elevado, Aviator, Parade), a limited edition cd: “LIVE at ISP” featuring Pistolero, (2006) and reissues of Elevado's first two albums, all available through Stickfigure Distribution.

Unsuspecting recipients of a booking buzz, Elevado and ISP have already welcomed bands including San Diego’s the North Atlantic and Sexy Time Explosion (Gold Stand Laboratories), Amsterdam’s zZz (Howler Records), Finland’s Fun and Antelope (Dischord Records).

Elevado’s fourth self-produced album, "This World is on Fire" (April 2007) was conceived while on tour and features an electro-experimental combination of programmed beats, live tracks, four-track recordings and circuit bent fun sounds adding atmosphere to their first concept album.

"I was influenced by the Second Gulf War and reading Brave New World," said Justin Sias, "ideas of paradise engineering and imperialism in a future alien-world seem to parallel present-day events …"This World is on Fire," is a mediation on our worst nightmares of democratic impotence and media coercions, still, we maintain the ability to fall in love with ourselves and each other in a uniquely human way."