The Electric Shakes – ‘Electrohypnosis’ (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 04:30

The Electric Shakes artworkThe title of this, the debut full-length album from this Dorset trio is a reference to the power of human electricity and its ability to produce a volume, tone and sound all of its own, which in turn can hypnotise the senses and create a euphoric state of mind. It is also a title which encapsulates the band’s extremely organic approach to this release, as the ten tracks were recorded live, in true analogue, onto two-inch tape, and then mixed down onto ¼ inch – all over the course of just two days.

 

The band trace their roots back to one night in 2014… like most such stories, it was a union brought about by beer – probably copious quantities of it – and three likeminded individuals sharing what they subsequently describe as their “severe lack of faith” in the local music scene. The three guys concerned – Steve, Basha and Eric – had a varied musical background, covering genres from punk to mod to stoner… but, their mutual love of music, coupled with their desire to just get out there and play the stuff, sounded a natural synergy and soon they had an EP out and were kicking down the doors of any venue which would give them enough of the other sort of electricity to play their songs to anyone who would listen…

 

Now, the thing about ‘Electrohypnosis’ is that it is one of those albums which, when you read the accompanying PR blurb, promises much… And, let’s be honest, most PR blurbs are filled with unimaginative, overblown hyperbolae, mostly designed to right your review before you’ve opened your laptop to do so… On this occasion, however, TES just lay it down straight: they tell you that their songs about “standing up for your rights, trust and the lack of it in the modern world, keeping true to yourself, fighting back against police brutality, explosive love, love to excess, fantasy film scenarios of drug running through the deserts of Nevada and doing it all because it’s embedded in your bones and speeding through your veins”. Pure and simple. No need to look for hidden analogies or messages: they just lay it all on the line, for all the world to see and understand.

 

It’s a philosophy which is echoed on the straightforward approach which the album adopts. ‘Rats’ heaves itself out of the speakers with a dense thrumming bass line which characterizes the bottom end rumble which runs throughout the album’s length: there’s a simplicity to the underlying riff which is superbly effective in ramming the band’s message home, while the dark vibration which pushes through the fuzzed-out rhythm washes over you like you’re being baptized in a mudbath.

 

Where The Electric Shakes also excel is in their ability to make their songs not only denser than a black hole but also to make them catchy as fuck: ‘The 157’ immediately grabs you simultaneously by the ears, throat and balls, interjecting itself into the inner cortex of your brain faster than that worm thing in ‘The Wrath Of Khan’, while ‘Blue Meanie’ punches you squarely in the gut before picking you off the floor and forcing you to dance around a floor littered with empty shot glasses.

 

There’s also plenty of big ass, dirty guitars as well. You could grow several fields of spuds under the riff on ‘In The Blood’, which pumps and grooves with a filthy, restrained fury that threatens to explode all over your face like an amateur prostitute, but just holds itself back and bounces your head off the wall instead with its infectious vibe. The breadth of the trio’s musical background really starts to come through on the psyched-out punk blues of ‘Shot Me Down’ which rattles and roars before easing right back into a luscious funked-up bass section and then exploding in a furious finale.

 

 

‘Magpie’ and ‘Keep It Wild’ are both huge slices of power pop glory, with massive commercial prospects if they were recorded by the likes of The Hives or The Killers: the former, in particular, is a swaggering hip-shaker guaranteed to fill floors at clubs the world over, while gets those knees separately and that booty moving ever so slightly lower before you even realize what is happening.

 

‘Volcano’ is hot and sweaty, fuelled by another thrumming bass line and a sharp-suited snare drive, while the guitar keeps the pedal to the metal, driving the tune forward with the energy which characterizes every second of this album: honestly, there is no let-up in the pace, and no relenting on the commitment to deliver ten beautifully crafted rock ‘n’ roll songs which touch so many bases, while remaining integrally ingenious, that they appeal to an extremely broad fanbase.

 

Take penultimate track ‘The Doctor’ (and, believe me, I need one by this point): it has a hugely danceable beat, driven by a pure hard-rockin’ guitar harmonic, laid down over a rapid fire percussive beat and fuelled by a ska-funk bass rhythm that’ll have you headbangin’ and jivin’ at the same time! And just when you think you’re dead on the dancefloor and can take no more, they ask for you for a cigarette, pop it onto your bottom lip and get you lowdown and ‘Dirty’, with a mucky-as-fucky downtuned ‘DC grunt and a T-Rextasy groove that will have you struttin’ out the door and then turning back around and demanding more…

 

When you review an album, it usually gets three or four listens and then put on a shelf somewhere, never to be heard again… ‘Electrohypnosis’ hasn’t been out of the multi-changer on my living room deck for at least six weeks now. It’s that fucking good… I shit you not! Go on, put some dancing music back into your lives and get a dose of those goddamn Electric Shakes… you’ll be bopping from now to Christmas!

 

‘Electrohypnosis’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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