Greater Lansing has an amazing music scene, but you seldom hear about it outside a 100 mile radius or so from the State Capital. Probably the best known band to hail from this area is The Verve Pipe, with its memorable #1 hit single “The Freshman.” Frontier Ruckus, The Hard Lessons, and Autumn Lull (among others) have also made a decent amount of buzz outside of their Greater Lansing roots. In addition, Backstage Pass, which is produced and recorded in East Lansing by WKAR for PBS and MSU’s award-winning student radio station, Impact 89fm, each showcase the wealth of musical talent from the region. Well folks, given the spectacular new album released by Elliot Street Lunatic, the buzzing may be palpable from sea to shining sea and then some.
Ghost Town Lullabies by Elliot Street Lunatic is superb! I cannot give it a high enough rating – it is literally off the charts. There is not a single bad track, which makes it hard to pick favorites. My only wish is that some of the tracks were longer – they are so damn good, I want them to continue.
Here’s the video for the opening track, Ghost Town.
If there is a downside, it is the sense I get from the album that the band feels it will eventually have to leave Mid-Michigan for the limelight. This feeling is most evident from the lyrics contained in the concluding track, “Lullaby.”
“And I know some day we will leave
To find a better place to call our home
And now we’re all alone…
And what if we could change it all
Would we be here watching the sun rise and fall
I thought we knew it all.”
Lyrics by Elliot Street Lunatic
As a parent of three sons, all of whom may move away some day (the oldest is this summer), the song “Lullaby” really hits home. In Michigan and throughout much of the Rust Belt, the brain drain is a very real problem that continues to be difficult to overcome no matter how many cool cities, music venues, placemaking features, and great third places we try to create or highlight. Hopefully, my interpretation is incorrect, because Elliot Street Lunatic is a perfect example of the cultural vibrancy you can find right here.
Based on my first few listens to the ten tracks from Ghost Town Lullabies, here are my favorites (subject to change as I listen to the album more):
- “Ghost Town”
- “Richard” a great do-wop style song with great harmonies
- “This Modern World”
- “Hollow Tree”
- “Unfamiliar Place”
- “Wake Up”
If you love rock ‘n’ roll, especially alternative rock or indie, you will adore this album. I highly recommend it and am looking forward to seeing Elliott Street Lunatic in concert (and known nationally) very soon. Personally, I hope the band can maintain its roots in the Greater Lansing area. In our digital world, geography has become virtually irrelevant when is comes to finding great music like Ghost Town Lullabies. Kudos to Elliot Street Lunatic for a terrific new album!