When Grunge took over in the mid 90’s it was enough that a band became big in the 80’s for them to be thrown into the garbage-bin, no matter in what genre of Rock you dwelled. This happened to 70’s sounding funk-rockers Electric Boys too – the fact that they had nothing to do with AOR, Glam or Sleaze didn’t matter. So after four great records it was thank you and goodnight and the members went on to do other things. After a 17 year hiatus, the original band – Conny Bloom (guitars, lead vocals), Andy Christell (bass), Franco Santunione (guitars) and Niclas Sigevall (drums) decided that enough was enough and it was about bloody time to get the band going again. Luckily enough for us because the debut reunion record …And Them Boys Done Swang (2011) was terrific.
And that’s how it has been ever since – the guys’ records since then has been nothing short of brilliant with Starflight United (2014) being my favorite Electric Boys album ever. With Sigevall now living in Los Angeles, the band has used The Quill drummer Jolle Atlagic live when Sigevall wasn’t available and on the last album, the great The Ghost Ward Diaries (2018), Atlagic and Sigevall shared drum-duties. On the new album Atlagic plays all drums and Santunione has once again left the band and was once again replaced by Slim Martin Thomander who played on the 1994 record Freewheelin’.
Unpredictably, the band opens up with ”Upside Down Theme”, a seven minute instrumental, a raw, earthy and crunchy rocker. It’s an adventurous number that swings and grooves 70’s style, only slightly funk-laden but still with an enormous groove. It holds a spacey outlook, some cool jam vibes and on here Bloom and Thomander really feeds of each other, showing us what a great team they are. It’s Classic Rock all the way and holds some cool and edgy melodies. A bold move that totally works. Great. First single ”Super God” is next and this upbeat, classic-rocker holds an infectious swing, funky guitars and bang-on-target melodies, a bad-ass Hammond and some chunky hooks that makes this song one catchy mutha. It’s classic Electric Boys albeit a bit less funky than usual. Awesome!
Second single ”Tumblin’ Dominoes” is so super-catchy I don’t know which way is up. It’s an upbeat, Classic Rock number that treats us with some delicate pop-melodies where the underlying acoustic guitars gives the tune something to lean on while the crunchier guitars brings on the raunchiness. The massive, Melodic Rock laden chorus throws hooks around like crazy and the tune is both catchy as damn and a real rocker. What a killer. With a slightly darker touch, ”Never Again Your Slave” has a somewhat laid-back and trippy verse which contrasts nicely to the punch of the big, addictive chorus. Easy to sing along to, this song holds a big live-feel where the chanted chorus will raise a few voices from the crowd. Great.
”She Never Turns Around” is a real slow-burner on the ballad side based on acoustic guitars where the boys goes for a late 60’s feel weaved into early 70’s Classic Rock balladry. There’s a Beatles twist inserted here as well, especially the ”na na na na na na”-hook which reminds me some of ”Hey Jude”. It’s a memorable number with a gorgeous main melody and a damn catchy yet non-cheese chorus. Brilliant. Hard Rock meets Classic Rock in the fat grooves of ”Globestrutter”. It’s heavy, quite gritty and straight-ahead and a ballsy and rough rhythm-section that brings on the swing of the times. With a striking refrain, this will go down a storm when played live. Good one.
Taking on a mid-pace, ”The Dudes And The Dancers” is a fat-grooved rocker which takes on a somewhat held-back verse with a fantastic main-melody. There’s a bluesy touch to the song but it also looks towards 70’s Glam Rock especially in the infectious chorus. The spacey and dreamy mid-section makes for a contrasting dynamic too which lifts the tune even more. ”Twang ’en & Kerrang ’em” – what a killer title – is a ballsy, upbeat and straight-forward riff-happy Classic Rock stomper with a groove so infectious it could make me dance in my sleep. It’s raunchy, crunchy and raw yet with a prominent pop-feel and the combination will make this one a future live-killer without any doubt. There’s a bit more of the 70’s Glam Rock vibes present as well. Brilliant.
Latest single ”It’s Not The End” is a pop-hooky Classic Rock groover with a bit of a 70’s, Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie influence and a nice late 60’s psychedelia which gives the song a spacey outlook. It’s a big ballad with a floating rhythm and an enormous refrain in a humongous soundscape. Very good indeed. The album closes with ”Interstellafella”, an slightly psychedelic and somewhat proggy yet fat rocker in an uptempo pace. It’s a six-minute powerhouse with crispy and rough-edged guitars and a stone-hard rhythm with a swinging groove. The chorus is quite in-your-face and very memorable. Good one.
This is another stellar and solid release by a band that should have been huge a long time ago. Even though the Funk is still around, it’s a lot more sparse than what we’re used to – something that actually started already on the last record. The classic Electric Boys sound hasn’t gone anywhere but this one draws more towards Freewheelin’ with its 70’s based Classic Rock vibes and the organic, down-to-earth production. There’s also some Pop and Glam twists thrown in which isn’t something we’re used to when it comes to this band and it works splendidly. The music grooves and swings and the live-feel all over is massive and every melody catches on directly without ever going radio-friendly or radio-flirtatious. Electric Boys has never disappointed me and they don’t this time either. This is another album that proves that Electric Boys still has shitloads to offer and that they’re still relevant in 2021. Well done.