Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Electrolic “Live On Land”

Indie rock

Electrolic is the brainchild of Scott Gagner (reviewed here) and Steve Enstad. The pair have come together in a home studio among the redwoods near Big Sur, California to record a new psych-synth-power-pop set of tunes. The end result is an eclectic yet alluring album called “Live On Land”. As Steve Turnidge, who mastered the project, stated, “Usually, when I master, I’ll do a song and go on to the next one. In this case, I sat and listened to each track several times just for my own enjoyment”. I can say an analogous thing about the record itself. After a review, I’m usually reaching for the next artist in the queue, but there was something about “Electrolic” that made it difficult to hit eject so quickly.

If you are familiar with Scott Gagner’s previous work (either as a solo artist or as Cartographer), the music of Electrolic is not quite what you’d expect at first. But give it a chance. You’ll surely hear a lot of Ric Ocasek in the peppy opening track, “Hello Hello” – and their love for the The Cars is most overt in their decision to cover one of their biggest hits, “Drive”. Electrolic does a splendid reworking of “Drive” that ranks among one of the best cuts on the album for me. Other highlights include “Benefit Of The Doubt”, which is closest to the breezy pop style Gagner has charmed us with in the past. There is also a great energy propelling “Refreshing” and a catchy melody perforating the otherwise moody “After The Fall”.

Electrolic is recommended if you like Guided by Voices, The Shins, or The Flaming Lips.

Electrolic – Official site.

Check out the video for “Hello Hello”:

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