One of my favorite things about the early-mid 1990’s (when alternative was struggling to find its identity) is albums like this. Albums that exist outside of trends and manage to sound like they were created in a vacuum. Influences are abound and evident, yet the music and album sound fresh and quite original.
Mind Bomb, Nudeswirl and others come to mind. Bands that released one, maybe two albums and kinda disappeared…and the one or two albums they left are timeless and arguably classics. Once you hear how excellent and, in some cases, innovative the music is, it becomes all too evident that the marketing department at said band’s label just had no clue what to do with the finished “product.”
In the case of Electric Love Hogs, in my not-so-humble opinion, they were just too real and just too good to fit in with the then in-vogue hair metal bands. Problem was that they were also just a tad too accessible to be embraced by the alternative/grunge collective.
Too bad for both, as this debut album (their only output that I’m aware of) is just alive with cool riffs and licks. Tribal Monkey kicks off the proceedings with a capital PARTAAAY and shows two guitarists juiced and primed to kick some ass. Lead throat John Feldmann sounds great when using his normal range but can grate at times when he does the fortunately-only-occasional scratchy helium squeal.
Mr. Fun, I Feel Like Steve (great title), Keep Getting Up and the almost-Metallica The Fix are just a few highlights from what is a really fun album. The twin-guitar solo work on the latter just levels the place. Just Another Day closes out the album in fine schizophrenic fashion with both successful and failed experimentation that once again wins with conviction.
Making this even more cool is the “Where Are They Now” with regard to Electric Love Hogs. Check out their Wikipedia page and read about their close ties to Goldfinger, Orgy, Handsome, Lit, Sugartooth and the Sons of Anarchy show.
There are a few letdowns in terms of hooks on a slight few tunes, Pud in particular cramming in way too many pointless changes and even more intelligence-insulting lyrics. But there’s never a letdown in energy, and the guitars on the weaker songs still shred. Totally committed performances, just enough cool fwap bass, and (to quote my fave music journalist of all time, Martin Popoff) absolutely paint stripping axework.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Buy Electric Love Hogs