Get ready to put your “don’t judge a book by its cover” protocol into full effect. The band Elusive Parallelograms, which just released their album Fragments, has a name befitting for a middle school garage band. In fact, it reminds me of an episode of Boy Meets World where Cory Matthews passes on the band names Sex Ed and Blood Drive for a less enticing option, The Exits. But what does a name really matter? After all, Dave Grohl has admitted he thinks Foo Fighters is one of the worst names going.
When you get past the cover, you can also feel free to skip the introduction as well. The first track of Fragments, “Lucidity,” is as ironically titled as it is musically calamitous. Perhaps in some sort of context, this pile of noises would have been appropriate, but at the start it’s mainly just disorienting. The album picks up, however, with “Helium,” which introduces the pop-punk suited voice of the lead singer over a pleasant and dreamy haze of guitar and backing vocals.
Not happy with having lured the listener into a reverie, the Parallelograms come back with the grunge-worthy riff from “Semantics.” And after having told us “it’s fine, it’s okay” on “Helium,” they hit us with the sentiment “then you know it doesn’t matter anymore.” Even on a six-track album, a listener doesn’t have much time to get comfortable.
The two strongest tracks finish off the album. “Street Legal” sounds like a mellower version of something a group like Midtown would have put out in their early years. The use of three-over-two rhythms is a particularly nice touch, providing a slight change of pace. “Absolution” also shows maturity with its A-B-A form, alternating between a heavy, minor-key shuffle and a straight four-four.
So, yes, Elusive Parallelograms sound like their name comes from an internet band name generator. But the music is far from generic and once again illustrates the dangers of judging something too superficially.