Review Summary: A completely solid release from a band often overlooked in their own country.
One of the best Australian emo bands opus... That's all that needs to be said.7 of 7 thought this review was well written
I first saw love like electrocution in 2004 when I was sixteen, playing with the Dillinger Escape Plan in Sydney with a fake ID. I was a typical Dillinger fan back then, impatient as anything to witness the “magnificence” that I had heard was a Dillinger show. I dismissed Love Like Electrocution as what they were to me then, simply an unpolished effort. Fast Forward to today and Love Like Electrocution is one of those bands that I kick myself for not seeing more often.
This album more than anything showcases the short life of one of the most promising bands I have ever seen in a genre that seems more concerned with emotion than any substance to back it up. Compiling the “She Was Red Hot” ep with five new tracks interspersed, the album flows surprisingly well possibly due to the slight homogeny of the songs. This I believe is something that can be overlooked when the songs sound as good as they do. Playing off against each other are two vocalists with different screaming styles, one a caustic high pitched scream, the other an almost spoken word yell. The vocal layering works well to flesh out what are often quite simplistic lyrics save for flashes of wit. The topics are varied and lack cliché which is always nice to see. My favourite of the album being those in “We’ve Built Our Tombs And Now We’re Sleeping In Them”
‘ ...and it’s with a hint of irony I suggest, faking a passing interest in European cycling races is little more than a bourgeoisie institution.’
In general, the songs lyrically are downright cryptic. “With Horses In Her Eyes She Struck Like A Wildcat” for instance seems to the best of my knowledge to be about a woman striking a cowboy down because he loves horses so much although I could really be missing the point badly on that one.
True musicianship in the band comes in the form of both guitarists who manage to provide an undoubtedly heavy experience while hot crossing it up a fair bit. Although nowhere in the technical league of said band, Love Like Electrocution perform flashy riffs mixed in with more atmospheric (not in the post rock sense, more in a wall of sound way) moments providing interesting textures and feelings as opposed to outright technicality, just the way it should be in my opinion. The rhythm section plays well taking the spotlight away from the guitars when need be, usually when creating a sense of calm before a heavier faster part. The bass doesn’t play too vital a part on first listen but with my bass player ears you can definitely pick up fills all over the place underplayed by the guitarists but creating an essential depth to the piece without which the mix would feel much thinner. The drums keep splashy on the hats a lot of the time thankfully not resorting to straight punk drumming and double kicks very often. Instrumentally the band mix it up a lot switching from poppier moments to straight out blast beating allowing the vocal interplay to overlap and bring the sound up a notch out of the mess of sound that is a lot of emo.
Thus presented is an amazing performance which has transferred surprisingly well to recording, always a bonus in a world where lo-fi recordings can sometimes be a chore to listen to. It’s polished but not to the point where it sounds manufactured. To be honest the record has that God City studios sound despite the fact that it was recorded and mastered halfway across the world.
It’s hard to describe the band in terms simple enough to discern to the uninformed listener who has not heard the band I’m not going to attempt as I simply don’t have the skill. Instead I will attempt to compare them to other bands of the genre, certainly a nice and lazy thing to do. Loves sound is not of the cinematic grandiose emo school like Funeral Diner or Circle Takes the Square nor is it straight out thrashiness like Orchid or Shikari to use unobscure reference points. Love Like Electrocution plays restrained emo, with almost a Belle Epoquish tinge to the music and yet the singing is almost early Blood Brothers meets Page 99. The songs are short with the typical long song titles and the whole album can’t go for more than fifteen minutes. It feels over in a flash, in the best possible way.
Unfortunately this can be seen as one of the negatives of the lp I believe. Although the album contains eleven songs it’s over so fast that it’s hard to become immersed in the song writing. The record is more like something you play in the car on a quick trip or waiting at a bus stop as opposed to something you sit down and analyse. There is not really a sense of continuity throughout with each song seeming to go off in a slightly different direction. However, it does not really do this enough to constitute a true change in writing, leaving the album coming off somewhat samey and yet not containing any real conceptual link between songs. This said, the album is a fantastic collection of screamo songs with a singalong edge. And although slightly short of classic, I believe it is one of the best recordings by a band of the genre.
For a band that only released one ep and this, essentially a discography, Love Like Electrocution has attained an almost legendary status in the screamo world. You only need to look in the admittedly terrible skramz boards all over the net where countless fans debate the true genre. For every person mentioning how good the used and other similar bands are there will no doubt be two or three “true” fans berating them with their use of quotes boxes and senses of self superiority. And one of the bands you’ll often hear in the oh so grating list of bands they provide as rebuttals is Love Like Electrocution, which is pretty good for five boys from Adelaide, a city pretty much otherwise known for its of churches.
Excellent Musicianship and Vocals
Interesting Song Writing
Short For a Full Length
Tips for Avoiding the Clap: 1. I wouldn’t Piss on A Scorpion If It Was on Fire
With Horses In Her Eyes, She Spat Like A Wildcat
And If you’re into grindy type music you should probably check out one of the guys new bands,
Robotosaurus, www.myspace.com/robotosaurus Really Good old Daughters type stuff...