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The Elms EP - The Elms (2000)

Unassuming and ungaudy, the first band of the year to be added to Sparrow Records’ roster, The Elms, give modern music fans a savory taste of their upcoming full-length project in this impenetrable self-titled EP. “Goodnight Rosa” thrusts listeners into the Elm’s polemic observations on “love ~ and all the crazy things it’ll make a person do.” With a one-two punch of tight, strong vocals and a pop-yet-rock chording, Owen Thomas (lead vocals, piano, guitar), Chris Thomas (drums, vocals), and James Thompson (guitar, vocals) show promise even with just the first cut. Potentially a hit youth group anthem, “Lifeboat” unharnesses the wilder side of worship, placing trust in God despite life and it's trials. Delineating their desire to be God chasers, my personal fave “You're Glowing” is a tame, but no less direct, pursuit of our Creator. The sonorous, pure melody “You Think You Know A Guy” is bound to become addictive for fans of Seven Day Jesus and Audio Adrenaline, as this earth-toned impression crawls to the King for consolation. Any band would turn a title like “Real Men Cry” into some gushy, overstated tear-jerker. Save the Elms. They decry isolation, ego and emotional barriers in their balanced, “let’s just sit and talk” closer. Much more than a hot advance item for their early 2001 debut, The Elms EP is a handful of antiphonous choruses cultivated with harmony, intensity and understanding.