The note I got with this release from Belfast based unit claims they’ve only been around for about six months and recorded this three track release themselves in their rehearsal room. Now, call me cynical, but either these guys are lying through their arses and have actually been holed up in their rehearsal space honing their craft and have shelled out some serious wedge to record in a decent studio or they are supremely on the ball and on top of their game. No band this early in their career should really sound this tight and fully fledged let alone record something of such professional quality in anything but a pro studio!!!
I’m guessing Belfast probably isn’t the easiest of places to try and make a go of a band but in their short time they’ve notched up supports to Slomatics and Taint and the latter’s influence is pretty strong here as Electric Red trade in the kind of post stoner/post hardcore style metal that Taint have made their own. I can also detect a healthy nod towards bands such as Mastodon, Baroness and Torche as well as those flag bearers of the early 90s NYC sound Helmet and Quicksand.
Opening track “Isolational” is a colossal barrage of stop/start riffs and braying vocals. The sheer weight of the sound here is almost palpable as the spastic lurch betrays a thick underlying groove. Second track “Saved Time” veers into more traditional metal territory with its galloping rhythm which is fortunately more Torche than Iron Maiden while final track “Underside” is a multi faceted tour-de-force of constantly shifting rhythms and crushing heaviness.
I have to mention the sound at this point. Where a lot of so-called “name” bands spend thousands on state-of-the-art studios and ego inflated producers, Electric Red have achieved a molasses thick sound that bristles with punch and clarity in their rehearsal room!!! Unless they rehearse at Abbey Road I wouldn’t have thought this possible so hats off to them.
I have only one minor criticism and that is the vocals. Many bands have made the monotone gruff bellow work but, maybe I’m a bit old fashioned but I tend to find it a bit lazy. When a band obviously pays such minute attention to every aspect of the music surely the vocals should receive the same attention and not just shout over everything. That’s not say it sounds bad, I just think they could take the vocals further as they have with the music. Having said that the introduction of subtle and melodic backing vocals across these three tracks does offer a welcome and interesting respite from the bull-lunged roar!!!
As I said, no band should sound this good in such a short space of time, I dread to think what they’ll be like with a couple of years gigging, writing and recording under their belts. I can almost hear Hydra Head Records knocking on their door from here!!!
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall