Elemae (pronounced “L-M-A”) hailed from various parts of NJ & PA, built a band based on their universal inspiration of music, and a friendship which kept them writing, recording & rehearsing together despite their rather non-complimentary geographic locations. Beginning in 1999 in rural Northwestern New Jersey, Elemae developed their sound, crossing genres of underground and beyond, never quite comfortably definable by genre specifics.
Recording a single song “Fret Echo” and soon-to-follow Beautiful Things EP, the band began gigging, adding their new name to the New Jersey music landscape in 1999, following their past post-punk/hc groups, Threadline, Chander and Muskalunge. In a short period of time with a strong chemistry for writing songs together, Elemae recorded another batch of songs, deciding to merge them with their first batch. This shaped their first full-length album, A Life to be Defined, sculpting a broader sound past their previous individual post-hardcore roots. Without abandoning their foundation of sound and ethic, they took their more angular urges into a much more melodic, alt-rock direction.
With a stronger desire to reach new ears coupled with a confident growth of sound, Elemae began mailing out CDs to promoters, fanzines and a few small indie labels. Elemae caught the ear of Ignition Records of England, who offered to issue Elemae's first properly distributed recording, the "Sleeping with Adrenaline" 7-inch. This bit of traction led to an appearance on Engineer Record's tribute album to D.C. alternative post-punk group, Shudder To Think among a fine cast of bands worldwide. Recording a full-length album to follow became Elemae's desire to make a more permanent mark on the indie scene they found themselves now comfortable with, while their label Ignition then changed their name to Engineer Records, further blossoming with more bands worldwide. The newly dubbed Engineer Records released Elemae's new full-album Popular Misconceptions of Happiness (2005), as well as a 3-way split EP (2008) with Belgium band Soon and Virginia, USA band Memorial. Both CD's landed them on a diverse range of compilations, yet also a re-release by Malaysia's now defunct indie/hardcore label Embrace Records. This partnership between Embrace and Engineer added additional exposure for Elemae overseas with promotions running in fanzines, distro tables, posters and more. Elemae made it's then-final recording, a single track on a Seaweed Tribute album released via Engineer Records also in 2008 before laying the band to rest for a while.
In 2011, Chris and Craig reconnected their chemistry, revisiting songs stripped down acoustic style, while also writing a couple new. This reconnect sparked enough chemistry for Craig and Chris to head into the studio to record one of the new songs for a compilation appearance, a gentle themed album titled Lamp Light The Fire: A Compilation of Quiet(ER) Songs. This synergy jolted their engagement Engineer Records to book a short acoustic tour with label mate Mikee J Reds in Southeast England in 2011, just to have a crack at some UK soil—a looming thought they had years earlier during the band, when an idea was pitched to come over and support label mates Rydell. This Lamp Light The Fire: A Compilation of Quiet(ER) Songs was released shortly before this tour in the Fall of 2012, in perfect time to promote the disc which also featured Mikee Reds, dubbing the jaunt the 'Lamp Light Tour'.
After arriving back home and limber from a dose of gigging, the then duo pitched an idea to a few past band members, Mark Cooper, Dan Nolan and Chris Smith, which led to a couple rehearsals to flesh out a new EP's worth of new songs, full-band style for again. Tilling the Fallow EP was tracked, then released on Engineer Records in 2013. The new batch spoke for the band's intrinsic chemistry, briefly reconnected. At just 5 tracks, Tilling The Fallow plays like a mini-album of sorts, the way it's ebb and flow leads you from song to song effortlessly, as it rolls out to it's end. A new 'swan song' of an EP now existed for these men of rural New Jersey. Tilling the Fallow just shifts their final bookend, steady and sturdy, into it's new spot.
Chris Homentosky: Guitar
Craig Cirinelli: Microphone
Dan Nolan: Drums
Mark Cooper: Bass guitar
Mark McKenna (Zullo): Keys
Chris Smith: Guitar
Mike Barbagallo: Bass guitar
Find more on Elemae:
Punk News: https://www.punknews.org/review/4154/elemae-popular-misconceptions-of-happiness
Elemae's Popular Misconceptions Of Happiness is the follow-up to A Life To Be Defined. The album is full of beautiful and sleepy songs that coax a climax out of an ardent melody. Kamikaze's sweeping melody, emotive lyrics, and crafted percussion make it a standout hit, while "Soapbox Podium" rocks a little harder than the rest, a change in pace that feels natural and is an appreciated break from the softer emo rock (which, after all, isn't for everyone). "Country Pink" sounds like a midnight lullaby sung to an audience of one and "Happily Cinematic" nearly put me to sleep. "End A Year," in particular, has late-90's rock elements, something that seasons the entire album. Judge for yourself -- both "Happily Cinematic" and "End A Year" can be downloaded on the band's site.
Overall, it's a real-life emotional record that shows Elemae has entered their Carlsberg years, making it a CD that may be embraced by those who also have, and rejected by those who have no idea what that means. Personally, I find this album has too much relaxed rocking out and too little power. Witness "The Fall Of Summer" for an example.