steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Elliot The Letter Ostrich

"Motocross Be Thy Name" CDR

Asaurus Records

Genres: synth-pop, lo-fi

Asaurus Records
PO Box 0664
Allen Park MI

Apr 19 - 25 2004

I love Nintendo.  It is no secret.  I, Matt Shimmer, editor of Indieville and famed music critic, love Nintendo.  Specifically old Nintendo - NES, SNES, Gameboy, the works.  Even N64.  But not Gamecube.

Anyhow, I bring this up because Elliot The Letter Ostrich, Asaurus' premiere DIY synth-pop act, has gone ahead and designed this release as a Super Nintendo cartridge.  And that just puts a smile on my face.  So right from the get-go, I wanted to like this album.

And, though I was surprised, I was by no means disappointed.  This CDR album is an amazing artifact in lo-fi, electronic-based pop music.  ETLO's style is truly unusual, though infectious and happy enough to intrigue even the most conformist listeners.  The format is simple: electronic beats, synthy melodies (often influenced by numerous Nintendo game soundtracks,) and spirited, youthful vocals.  "Tanooki Power Up and the Responsibility That Follows" is a fine example - synth-pop beats and cute 8-bit synths are laid under a playful, hometaper-style vocal part.  It sounds like an early Human League demo.

There are many other highlights to this CDR, as well.  "8 Bit Commitment, 32 Bit Break Up" is a clever tune that combines videogame terminology with the break-up blues ("It's enough to say I'm's enough to say game over.)    "I Want to Love You, But I'm Too Busy Fighting These Nebulous Bees," on the other hand, is a cute, Nintendo-esque love song.

These songs are brief, cute, and loads of fun.  Lo-fi synth-pop isn't all that common, but Elliot The Letter Ostrich are leading the charge.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals:  tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]