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Electro Group - A New Pacifica

  by Gary Wollen

published: 10 / 7 / 2002



Electro Group - A New Pacifica
Label: Omnibus
Format: CD

intro

Strikingly "surreal and ethereal" dream pop, strongly reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, from new Californian group


Bored by the current crop of nu-metal wannabes sporting back-to-front baseball caps, tattooed legs and trousers that haven’t quite made up their minds whether they are trousers or shorts? Apathetic to the irksome, tedious, flatness of corporate acoustic rock? Four pale white boys whining about losing their love while trying to sonically recreate 'Wonderwall' with a marketable, well rounded rock sound? Yeah? So am I. Then I suggest you open your heart, dream a little and let this album rip the hard-edged cynicism from your life. Sorry, make that your soul. 'Trigger/Repeat/Hold' is the perfect intro for this collection of noise dreamscapes acting as an overture to draw the listener to the barrage of sound that starts with 'La Ballena Alegira'. When I say barrage, don’t be fooled into thinking that I am talking about the gross, bludgeoning, ham-fisted barrage that our friends from the nu-metal camp are so keen to have us “enjoy”, but a sensuous, soulful barrage that lures the listener in (that’s you and me) before seducing and leaving us, at the end of the album, a spent force and totally yielding to the absolute abandon and uncontrolled show of strength that is this album’s undeniable signature. From here on in, the Electro Group savage the songs with an invigorating wall of discord and distortion, yet there is an important and vast difference to the aforementioned nu-metal assault. The direction with which the band approaches the noise is not only opposing but virtually worlds apart. It sounds as if the guts have been torn out of the songs. There is hardly any middle to fill out the sound. That throaty roar that defines rock music is noticeable by its absence, leaving only the bass and lots of dissonant treble, and I do mean lots. The effect is to present a very surreal and ethereal quality to the compositions. If I was being honest, as is my wont, I would say that perhaps the band have spent a little too long with My Bloody Valentine’s (MBV) artistic output as their spectral presence is apparent everywhere on this record and seeps from the very pores of each song. If the Electro Group had lifted the sonic landscape from MBV alone then this album, however, wouldn’t work. The quality of these songs is such that this album does live up to the transcendental symphonic resonance of its mentor. It is safe to say that the sublimity and calibre of the songs here transgresses any negative comparison to a band that was so of its time. In short the timeless nature and texture of these songs cannot bind them to any previous musical genre. The only criteria in deciding to buy this album and believe me you must, is that every track here soars, inspires, blurs, stimulates and ultimately leaves you breathless, washed out but above all delirious with theiropaque haziness. The standout track for me (today that is) is 'Cyrna Ruka'. It is powered by a Tom Verlaine style guitar flourish knitted perfectly to a MBV type fuzzy workout where indistinctive chord changes melt seamlessly into each other as the wonderfully androgynous vocals alternately ride majestically atop a mighty maelstrom, before falling back in the midst of the spiralling, turbulent, joyous thunder. This is not an album that should be buried in a dearth of mediocre releases. It demands by its very quality to be listened to. It is a wholly delicious rush, half amphetamine half psychedelic with chill out moments thrown in to let you catch your breath and gather your resources. 'Can’t Remember ' is one such moment, escaping the crossfire for a brief period. You can barely believe that you are listening to a male vocal; such is the range and femininity of the delivery. This sounds, I know like sixth form pretentious, flowery prose; but you must believe me when I say that this is as succinctly as I am able to get across to you the spirit of this record. It is MUCKING FIGHTY!!! I do believe that this, far from being a luxury purchase is an essential CD. It is something you cannot deny yourself and you may live to persecute yourself if in years to come this isn’t nestling in your record collection alongside their next three albums. Can you honestly live with that feeling? You really deserve to treat yourself to this - go on you have been good!



Track Listing:-
1 Trigger / Repeat / Hold
2 La Ballena Alegria
3 If You Could See
4 Line Of Sight
5 Cyrna Ruka
6 Reprise
7 Continental
8 4, 5 and 7
9 Can't Remember
10 A New Pacifica
11 Biped
12 Last Flight Of Fantazma Gordo
13 19.5
14 Manimal
15 Red Lectroid Orchestra



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