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Electric Boys – Upside Down

Electric Boys
Upside Down
by Rachel Montgomery at 10 June 2021, 2:16 PM

ELECTRIC BOYS is a Swedish metal band leaning heavily on the American zeitgeist to create a Western-inspired, blues-influenced traditional metal album. While the begin strong though, the rest of the album doesn’t hold a candle to the opening tracks. Although the later songs are solid, they have the misfortune of following some epic openers. It’s a bold choice to open this album with a seven-minute composition. However, “Upside Down Theme” works in the band’s favor. The chops are there from the start: songwriting, beautiful playing, and melodies with mood and emotion. I could listen to an entire album of the opening track and I prefer music with lyrics!

There’s a lot of goodies on this album, but they’re concentrated at the beginning and near the end. “Super God” does have lyrics, though, and a funkier edge with a soaring refrain. The song jabs with funk-rock inspired rhythms in the verses and mellows in the chorus, taking cues from 90s bands like RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and FOO FIGHTERS. Then, the style changes gears with a more balladlike third track, “Tumblin’ Dominoes”. The guitar work on this track reminds me of the melancholy guitars in HIM, but it still has a cowboy vibe like the previous track. The music is also solid throughout, especially the guitar solo in “Ghoststrutter”. And while the middle of the album gets corny, “The Dudes And The Dancers” is a fun song that pokes some fun at the American Western genre overall and has some really good melodic constructions in the chorus. The verse is speak-singing, but it feels more like Western narration than a silly attempt at rapping. “Twang Em, Kerrang Em” is another bold surprise, harkening back to the early days of rock n roll with call and response and the lyrical structure subtly resembling “Tutti Frutti” by LITTLE RICHARD.

They straight-up pull blues out of their hat on track four, but the middle tracks fall into mediocrity. After the first two tracks, “Never Again Your Slave” and “She Never Turns Around” sound more basic. After the speak-singing that reminded me of a straight-up Western, which was awesome, there’s this arena rock chant that feels a little out a of place. It’s a small criticism, but it weakened the song for me. It’s more typical for the genre compared to the first two songs they came roaring in with. The slow song is also on the meh side for me, at least until it picks up in intensity. Then, the hook in the chorus satisfies me a little, though the “Hey Jude” esque outro seems a little hokey. Speaking of hokey, I enjoyed the musical technique in the beginning of “Ghoststrutter” but the “I get up, brush my teeth, go out” lyrics, plus the rapping lyrics felt out of place.

The closing two tracks are bookends to the more traditionally structured songs in the middle of the album and a callback to the instrumental opener in length and funk rock style in track 2. “It’s Not The End” is a more traditional goodbye ballad. “Insterstellarfella” is a story about an alien helping our hero out. It has a beach rock vibe, and brings a distinct sound to the album that, while solid, I wish was introduced earlier, too. Nitpicks aside, the band is full of surprises. Changing form so jarringly from the first few tracks while maintaining a distinct style is no easy feat, and this band pulls it off with style. If you’re not into funk metal or any sort of hybrid, you’re not going to like this band much, and admittedly, it gets cheesy in the middle. The musical quality stays strong throughout though and personally, I’d welcome an instrumental version of this album. If you want a bluesy band that’s not afraid to take risks, check these guys out!

Songwriting: 7
Production: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Upside Down Theme
2. Super God
3. Tumblin’ Dominoes
4. Never Again Your Slave
5. She Never Turns Around
6. Globestrutter
7. The Dudes & The Dancers
8. Twang ‘em & Kerrang ‘em
9. It’s Not The End
10. Interstellafella
Lineup:
Conny Bloom: Guitar, Vocals
Andy Christell: Bass
"Slim" Martin Thomander: Guitar
Niclas Sigevall: Drums
Jolle Atlagic: Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music
     


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