Imperial State Electric – ‘Anywhere Loud’ (Psychout Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 04:40

IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC Anywhere Loud DLP BLACKThe double live album should be a high point of any rock band’s career. I remember reading somewhere many years ago in a live album review how the writer felt it was the pinnacle of a band’s career, capturing a band in the moment, forever carved in wax. He felt many bands never reached such dizzy highs again or released albums of any worth after releasing their classic live album. If you are reading this, you probably have your own favourite live albums and you may beg to differ, but it’s an interesting point. Go have a look at your collection now, did your favourite band release a belter after their classic live album? Captured right, the double live album can go down in history as a classic for fans and music lovers alike. Remember, the Kiss Alive albums introduced a whole host of new fans to the band. As did Maiden’s ‘Live After Death’.


Recorded on the ‘All Through The Night’ tour, over three nights in Tokyo, Stockholm and Madrid, ‘Anywhere Loud’ is a majestic double album that captures Imperial State Electric in all their raw and ramshackle glory. 


From the moment the crowd noise fades in and Nicke introduces with “Tokyo, it ain’t what you think it’s what you do” this high octane, 23 song set delivers with all cylinders firing. Two guitars, bass and drums, no frills rock ‘n’ roll captured perfectly just like they did back in the day. This could’ve been recorded forty years ago, timeless rock ‘n’ roll.


The great thing about this album is how, song for song, Imperial State Electric have a killer repertoire to choose from these days, and it makes you realise the diversity of Nicke Andersson’s songwriting. From punked up 70’s glam stompers like ’Uh Huh’, onto the poptastic hits that never were such as ‘Can’t Seem To Shake You Off My Mind’ and ‘Deja Vu’, onto killer garage rock. It’s all here, the Thin Lizzy twin leads, the Peter Frampton meets Kiss ‘70s songwriting suss, all that’s missing is a vocoder and explosions for ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll perfection. You can feel the electricity build as ‘All Through The Night’ comes on like some lost Peter Frampton meets Kiss hit, with spot on vocals, those classic twin leads and a nice mid-song breakdown. ‘Break It Down’ has a ‘70s pop feel and did I mention the opener ‘It Ain’t What You Think (It’s What You Do)’?



The guitar interplay between Andersson and Tobias Egge is great and the rhythm laid down by bassist Dolf de Borst and drummer Thomas Ericsson, as solid as it gets. The sonically seductive hybrid garage rock of ‘Reptile Brain’ channels The Stooges and The Doors in equal measures and when Nicke gets the crowd interaction thing going, its turns out to be a surprise album highlight. This truly is killer stuff.


Even the choice covers of The Dead Boys ‘Sonic Reducer’ and The Kids ‘This Is Rock n Roll’ that bookend ‘I’ll Let You Down’ sound tame up against the original tunes on offer.


The double live album is back, bolder, shinier and more colourful than ever before. And while lighters and marijuana smoke have been replaced by smart phones and apple and elderflower vape at gigs, you can still relive the excitement and the electric energy you used to feel at gigs as a kid by pouring a litre of cider down your neck, rolling a fat one and sticking ‘Anywhere Loud’ on the old gramophone player.


Need a companion to sit alongside ‘It’s Alive’, ‘All Those Wasted Years’ and ‘Alive I & II’? Look no further as Imperial State Electric deliver the goods. Available on various lavish coloured vinyl sets, if you dig live rock ‘n’ roll, it’s an essential purchase.


‘Anywhere Loud’ is released on 16 February. You can get your copy HERE.


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