Electricals debut is a 4 track digital download recorded late 2019, about a year after the band’s formation. Given past ventures of the musicians involved (Drainland, Vircolac, Serpents, Lurch and several others), it’s unsurprising that this retains caustic guitar noise as sonic bedrock.
And although there are many ways to describe it all, Electricals choose to offer nothing to the listener in terms of what this is supposed to be, or confine itself to – Bandcamp tags simply state “rock” and “Dublin”. This reticence to declare an identity one way or another is clearly creative elbow room for what’s here and whatever’s to follow.
Half of this EP has previously been dribbled out into public ears via Bandcamp, starting with the chunky opener I’M GOING TO THE FUCKING MOON. This punches a path through some big riffing and growls inspired derision at the conspiracy poisoned, chemtrail worshiping tinfoil hat brigade. Subject matter is tackled with a mix of fiction, abstraction and humour even if the gruff vocal delivery sounds like it should be incensed.
HEAT DEATH is an interesting deviation from the initial aesthetic, juxtaposing the abrasive quality of the first track with melody and conventional song structure, driving a different flavour of the same noise. I’m sensing a heavy syphon from the golden era of Amphetamine Reptile and Sub Pop Records and it’s a welcome contrast. There’s a refreshing honesty in the bare bones rawness of the track, comfortably wielding a skuzzy and unkempt tune up against heavier material.
Dynamics are even greater as PAVAROTTI takes a dark plunge into 1990s alt rock (the bleak rather than the commercial side of it). Alternating somewhere between dispirited and morose, the track melds guitar noise and spatial elements to great effect. Not destined to become a party anthem any time soon.
Returning to the sound palate of the first track, 800 BODIES opens doomy and erupts into robust and discordant hardcore, applying effective atonal guitar layers and a very Irish sort of dark lyrical farce to the mix.
Electricals lays an interesting trajectory for itself right out of the gate. HEALING SERVICES EP sounds like at least 2 sources bringing material to the table, and where it could very easily be one big stylistic mess, the band articulates the conflict of creative elements successfully. Whether Electricals keeps those elements separate or finds a way to integrate them as it progresses is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be an interesting one to watch.
Well presented with solid graphics and a decent PDF booklet, there’s much to be curious about in this promising debut.