There's an Elephant in my room, and it's not a metaphor - more like raunchy - and it's a band I want to talk about. Elephant is a duo composed by twin brothers Coleman and Jackson Vrana, who happen to be gay, rappers, and whose sound is as abrasive as anything I've heard from their ostensibly straight counterpart, Enimem.
The crucial difference between the two is that while Enimen relies on over the top histrionics to express his anger, Elephant goes left of emotion and veers into a complete disconnection between soul and song, approaching something eerily close to the earliest days of Synthpop when it was then firmly rooted in punk. This is not material for the weak of heart. With titles such as Queer Nation (which doesn't begin to recount what's in the lyrics), Tranny Step, The Notorious H.I.V., and Great 4 Play, they venture into pure, evil decadence, making the experience of being gay close to the erotica of Simon Sheppard - filthy, grungy, with a casual nod to drugs and violence as if it were simply another part of the whole. Or is it hole?
However you look at it, Elephant is all jagged teeth that threaten to bite, reminiscent of The Normal (Warm Leatherette) and even very early The Human League (think Being Boiled). The only song where they gladly embrace some warmer energy approaching light is their anthemic The Let-Go and even then it carries hints of anarchy just underneath. Teaming up with Yo! Majesty, they embark on a fast-paced attack against the orders that place gays and lesbians in the dark while asking the audience to become free of thought and of religion. It's a bold move, considering how self-serving rap has become, and this song is on my iPod. It should be in yours. And if you like your rap with a little bit of sleaze in it, take a chance on the other three: they are worth the listen.