Thursday 12 March 2020

Electric Feat - Electric Feat (2020)

Country: Greece
Style: Hard/Psychedelic Rock
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 24 Feb 2020
Sites: Bandcamp | Facebook | Instagram

I enjoy a wide range of different styles of music and almost everything that I review is recommended to some degree, but I don't think I've come across a band in a heck of a long time who feel as alive as Electric Feat. They're a psychedelic rock band from Athens (the one in Greece) and the video for The Caveman is a Terry Gilliam-style fever dream. It took me a while to discover who does what in the band, but the members go by monster pseudonyms: say hi to Dr. Nanos, Madam Manthos, Prins Obi and The Tree.

Oh, and they're like the bastard son of the Doors and Black Sabbath, which I really dig. Somehow I hadn't realised quite how the two bands connected, but it's impossible to miss here, because they frequently transform from one to the other and back again. Song of Disobedience starts out like the Doors but shifts into Sabbath and the vocals follow suit, though whoever's singing is still somehow Jim Morrison even when he grabs Ozzy's cape and structures the lyrics his way. The Lizard King and the Prince of Darkness? Suddenly it all makes sense.

It's Alright (with You) is psychedelic garage rock, rather like the Doors if Ray Manzarek had played bass instead of keyboards; there are no keyboards in this song but the bass is up front and overt. The band call this one "Alice Cooper-ian" and they're not wrong either. It stalks and struts like it's a performance as much as a song and we know that Coop is into garage rock from his Breadcrumbs EP last year. I'm imagining the costumes.

Lizard Queen continues this, just in case the title didn't give it away. The guitars jangle and the keyboards are completely absent (as they remain until Fogdancing late on in the album). There's also a neat homage to Whole Lotta Love with a recognisable but subdued riff and a canopy of drums and bizarre vocalising, but with a Tony Iommi solo over the top.

It's Song of Disobedience where the band slow down and really emphasise the Sabbath in them. Sabbath are there in pace, riffs and in lyrical structure and it's the first time that it's been this overt except for lyrical nods in the opener. And from this point, they really start to bounce back and forth between their two key influences: sometimes one, sometimes the other, often a combination of both.

The Caveman is so much akin to the Doors that I started to sing along with Roadhouse Blues until I realised it wasn't a cover. It grows too, with some progression that could almost warrant a guest appearance from Arthur Brown. I had the same problem with Leather Jacket, a Sabbath-infused song that's so reminiscent of N.I.B. that I had to cry out "Oh yeah!" at the right moment simply because it needed to be there.

I loved this cross pollination of sounds, because these two bands aren't as far away from each other in style or in time as we might assume without the benefit of a moment's thought. If it wasn't for the excellent production, I could imagine that Electric Feat were an unknown proto-metal band from 1970 who we're only just discovering now. They blew minds supporting the Airplane at Winterland and their jams with Iron Butterfly at the Fillmore are a thing of legend, right? I'd be into that alternate history.

Blackwood Secrecy is as garage rock as the band get. Bandcamp says that this album was "recorded (almost live)" in the Diskex studio and it's easy to buy into that. It sounds like they're playing on my desk in front of an audience of one and still giving it everything. This is the debut album for Electric Feat, I believe, but I'm hoping to hear more soon. They're too alive to wait long for a follow up and, my goodness, I want to see this band on stage!

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