The latest EP by the trio Electric Retro Spectrum isn’t for the faint hearted. If you’ve never listened to the band before, then let me suggest that you drag out some amazingly good speakers, stand as close to them as possible and literally get blown away by pressing play.
‘Sub-Urban’ features six well produced, ear drum bursting tracks from the band, who formed in France. This EP is full of heavy riffs and crying guitar alongside thundering drums. The band’s female lead singer provides a sad wailing, as she sings lyrics that could easily be mistaken as some sort of witchcraft or mystical enchantment. Her voice lingers in the air for a short while after each track has ended. Their track ‘New World Order‘ is sung by their male band member, but the EP as a whole is a heavy metal and punk rock concoction doing its thing, unashamedly.
‘Frontline’ is a stand out track and I urge you to go and watch the video that accompanies this record. It’s slightly unsettling, but it’s a true reflection of who this band are and the mystical punk vibe that they’re trying to create. This is a band that has no trouble flexing its instrumental muscles, every instrument on every track of this record is played to its fullest. At the end of ‘Seasons’ and in the middle of ‘Plane’ we’re treated to long, purely instrumental sections. With ‘Plane’ being the longest track on the EP and lasting nine minutes and three seconds, it does make you wonder if the instrumental segments are a little bit too long. The band clearly want the listener to hear the utter dominance that their instruments can provide and they won’t compromise their talent.
The band’s record label Stolen Body Records stated that the group have been searching for a new sound whilst touring non-stop for the last two years. This EP definitely acts as some sort of confirmation that Electric Retro Spectrum appear to be getting close to capturing a truly unique sound.
This is an interesting listen, but I spent my time wondering if seeing this band live would be more entertaining than listening to the EP. Imagining how each song would be recreated on a live stage, was thrilling. My guess is that any album following on from this will be louder, darker and even more unsettling, but that is the style that this band has chosen, it suits them and they seem very comfortable playing within it.
Sub-Urban is out now on Stolen Body Records.