Ellis Ashbrook seems like it’s just a New York for the convenience. Rather than using Brooklyn as an excuse to deserve something, Ellis Ashbrook just knows New York’s a place that happens to have a lot of people who will show up to get fucked up…off of music, of course.
There was too much rock for the small stage. Headlining in the Old Office at The Knitting Factory last Thursday, Ellis Ashbrook sucked the audience in as the smoke machine engulfed the room—the stage melted away and what was left were people bonded together by the band’s progressive and heavy grooves. John’s unique voice fit into each genre with confidence, whether jumping from psychedelic to salsa to a dub. Though they play with these other sounds, there’s noarguing they’re wholly rock. In your face unlike a traditional keyboardist, Natalie certainly does not fade into the background. Her voice and her confidence as a rocker are impressive. The songs are round and intelligent and their presence is tight, not unlike Incubus in their S.C.I.E.N.C.E days. Every player has the prowess, technique, and tenacity to play original music that transcends trend. Many of the constant changes turn to the upbeat so the songs are nothing but dynamic, and the liquid hooks never lose you by becoming too drawn out.
Ellis Ashbrook’s musicians are dedicated to this one project, unlike many other Brooklyn musicians. They were just signed by Chakra-5-Records out of Burlington, Vermont, and here is where this diversity will work to their advantage. If anyone’s to bring Brooklyn’s timeless musical seed to Burlington’s fertile ground, it will be Ellis Ashbrook.