music notes: electric attitude

Rocketing out over the Midwest from their home port in Space City U.S.A., coming to make us all believers in the power of sweaty, groovy, funked up space-age rock and soul music, Houston’s Electric Attitude is heading for a stage near you!

Touring this summer to support their six song EP, “Laser Laser Laser Beams,” and wielding a sound that’s like nothing you’ve ever heard, and at the same time everything you have, utilizing influences of soul, blues, classic and modern rock. Electric Attitude has forged a style of music that is uniquely their own. Music that will force you to get up off your butt . . . and move it!

First song up, “Ways and Means,” sets the tone for the rest of the CD, coming on like a James Brown tune that’s been flung through time and space. Singer Blake Shepard wants his woman to not “get him wrong,” if he “comes on too strong.” With a captivating beat, guaranteed to move your feet, this song will quickly fill up any dance floor.

“Shot On The Dance Floor” starts off with a White Stripes-ish guitar riff that threatens to destroy everything in its path. Guitarist Jordan Bell turns up the distortion pedal while Blake sings furiously about the victim of a shooting. Based on an incident that occurred in a Houston dance club. SOTDF is a perfect example of how EA can, both sonically and lyrically, voice the emotions of an angry, frustrated witness to a senseless tragedy and at the same time be singing an undeniable love song.

“City’s Gonna Get You Sucka!” with a funky bass, and wah-wah effected guitar,  both sounding like they could have been lifted from the movie “Superfly,” this track tells the story of a young girl who moves to the big city and immediately begins making all the wrong choices for herself. Bassist Kwesi Sackey takes a rare turn at the mike to deliver a sexy soulful monologue, letting her know that he is the guy her mama warned her about!  Jordan says that when EA write songs, they aren’t “necessarily trying to write a 70s funk song,” although wanting to keep some “elements of that, but always make sure it has other modern elements that we love.” I believe they’ve succeeded on both counts in this tune.

“Pistolwhip” begins with a phased out bass riff battling it out with a flanged out guitar riff and the winner is . . .  too close to tell!  And, even though you have to sweat it out through two verses, two pre-choruses and an instrumental break, you’re rewarded with one of the catchiest choruses on the record, and you’ll sing along, like I do, as Blake shouts, “You want it, you want it, you want it, yea you know,” like he’s being, well, pistol whipped.

Having the distinction of being the song the CD title is extracted from, “Hooker Red Lipstick” has a cool groove as it tells the story of a dance club seductress who’s “moving like a whirled wind,” through the, “jet stream-laser beams,” a world of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Never stopping to consider “time is skipping like a stone,” she uses and abuses anyone who gets in her path.

“SEX!”  Shouts Blake, at the beginning of the final song, “Robot Girl,” and after a few listens, you might think, yep, that’s what it’s about. Especially when he tells us how she was “talking nasty,” when she got him, “drunk on wine,” adding lasciviously, “Robot Girl, I want your bones!”

But, Blake wants you to understand, that it’s more like, “you want something from this girl that she might not actually have, it’s kind of like the fun play on a robot having bones or a girl having a heart [laughing], when she may not be as human as you think she is [laughing louder].”  With its distorted Ramones-y guitar rhythm this song flat out rocks!!

From their bio: “Singer Blake Shepard, bassist Kwesi Sackey and guitarist Jordan Bell formed Electric Attitude in the summer of 2008 to take their individual influences in the genres of rock, blues, funk and soul and fuse them into a modern sound for crowds to stop standing with their hands in their pockets and grab somebody and dance. With new drummer, Joe Ramirez, manning the skins and recent addition James Murphy on the saxophone, Electric Attitude turned heads at SXSW 2010, playing 6 shows in 2 days and leaving sweaty dance floors in their wake.”

All in all, the CD, “Laser Laser Laser Beams” contains a half dozen very well-crafted songs that just get better and better after repeated listening. With the band collaborating on all six tracks, and drawing from their individual influences, you’ll hear snatches of the Stones, Mars Volta, Curtis Mayfield, LCD Soundsystem, White Stripes and INXS. Bassist Kwesi Sackey adds, “We all come from a different background, kind of use everything and melt it all together and create our own sound.”

photo by jimmyE photography

Electric Attitude have created an album of funkilicious rock songs that are fun to listen and dance to; with it’s enigmatic lyrics at times reminiscent of Bob Dylan…after a three day ecstasy binge… they engage the grey matter as well. The CD can be purchased at the band’s website www.electricattitude.com and on iTunes.

Electric Attitude’s “Breakdown and Shake Tour,” splashes down in Topeka, Sunday July 11 at the Boobie Trap. Come experience an up and coming “band dedicated to making music that moves your body!” With local bands Atomic Blues and Dead Sevens opening, this promises to be the perfect evening to dance away those summertime blues.

Robin Crèmer,  one of the new “kids” on the seveneightfive block, loves writing about music as much he does listening to it. Combining his Rain Man like retention of rock music history minutiae and his self diagnosed condition of MADD (Musical Attention Deficit Disorder), Robin writes almost authoritatively on just about every genre of music known to man. With his patented “write what the voices in my head tell me to” approach, Robin’s biggest goal is to be the next Cameron Crowe.

If you want Robin to check out your band’s original music, email him: bluesfan_69@yahoo.com

[ July 2010 | Robin Cremer | photos courtesy Electric Attitude ]

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