Elephant Gun — Kid Scissors

Band: Elephant Gun
Album: Kid Scissors
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Free mp3: “How Have You Bendorf?” (available through January 10!)

Kid Scissors, really, is one big pile of kooky fun. I mean, Elephant Gun’s snappy xylophone and section of horns and sassy violin and the rest of it make their Kid Scissors one of the more eclectic releases of our most recent fall.

Some disclosure as I start things here: It’s a good challenge to up and go with an Elephant Gun critique. You see, an honest review of their music could very well begin any number of ways, and I think that a practical representation (and inadvertent truth) of what they’ve got synthesizin’ on Kid Scissors.

Forget the music even and begin with the name: Kid Scissors. What comes to my mind, at least, and the cover art helped get me there, is what’s probably bound to happen when you dangle a pair of shiny paper cutters in front of an unsuspecting tween. Of course they’ll grab those motherfuckers and away they go! And around and back around and around again until their energy is spent or a mature adult intervenes. Whichever is first.

Kid Scissors, then, might be a wholesome depiction of that. At times silly, at times joyous, by god its got quirky energía about it nearly the whole way.

What just works, and this can only speak for those first few plays, is an inspired sense of mystery about where things may go, be it in the pauses between tunes or simply mid-song changeovers. This is probably because Elephant Gun is a bit giant — about nine banders, I think — and they come armed with those mentioned noisemakers, and then a few more.

They’ve got room to roam because they’ve planned it that way. Kinda like an actor creating roles for himself by writing his own screenplays. Patrick Stewart is with me at about 0:33.

Perhaps I’m guilty of romanticizing. Maybe Elephant Gun is (or is also) a group of friends who collectively knew how to play a flight of instruments, and Kid Scissors is a game of “What would happen if we…”

Despite its pleasantries, Kid Scissors may be a touch too lengthy. I’d comfortably set the over-under bar at two tunes. I think the album solid, certainly, but there’s a confidence about its first half that I’d argue is lacking in the second.

In the spirit of Elephant Gun, I’m sharing an mp3 handpicked by yours truly that’s maybe flush with what you expected these guys to sound like or, well, it’s something else entirely. The kicker: “How Have You Bendorf?” is distinctly its own thing; outside the “Kid Scissors sound.” And that’s what I mean by an inspired sense of mystery.


  • Kid Scissors is on Bandcamp. Stream freely or buy for $8. | Bandcamp
  • I just saw Elephant Gun with my own eyes! | Review
  • Elephant Gun plays with a million other bands on January 8 at Pancho’s for $12. Seriously, the bill is in double digits. | Tickets

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About Eric

Hello there. Email your things to chicagotunes[at]gmail[dot]com.
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2 Responses to Elephant Gun — Kid Scissors

  1. Pingback: The best local releases of the year: 2011 | Chicago Tunes

  2. Great and totally accurate review of KS, actually inspired me to check out the album myself. I was able to snag a vinyl for a giveaway here if you’re interested: http://www.midwestaxn.com/blog/?p=823

    That aside, thanks for introducing this! Any review with “kooky” in the first sentence I’m bound to love, and how could I not just fall for the xylophones and strings and horns?

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