The Southern Electrics
Electric Superhighway LP
South-East Londoners, The Southern Electrics, have become regulars on the big-smoke scene, as well as getting themselves further afield with appearances in Ireland and Germany. Alongside plenty of radio play, they have also popped up on televisions everywhere with their music appearing in a Harley Davidson documentary that has already been shown on Men and Motors.
The album begins with their debut single and title track, ‘Electric Superhighway’, which starts off by leading us all down a murky synthy vocal path with guitars that have more wah than a maternity ward. By the time the song is finished however, everything has become much clearer. Imagine Suede’s last independent release, ‘Head Music’, add a bit of pace and a few nods at the seventies and you have an eclectic track that definitely finds itself heading towards the alternative side of rock.
Not being a band to sit on the successful results of their first track, the second offering, ‘Save You’, is a different idea entirely with a Feeder-esque feel and quiet mix of dreamy vocals. More directions are explored in the synthy ‘Go Dirty’ and the Brit-Pop ‘Blame’ before the interstellar ‘Alien’ appears with a thread that brings a little funk with the bass guitar.
‘Skyhigh’ presents a floating mist of musical nostalgia that replicates George Harrison’s more surreal moments from the early seventies, with ambient instrumental sections, Hammond organ, and tremolo vocals.
A fluent mixture of Madchester Britpop and early nineties indie is found in ‘Media Coke Whore’ and ‘The Rogues’ Gallery’ before the sparkly synths of ‘Spanish Fly’ introduce a more intimate, instrumental sound. ‘Sirens’ continues the subdued section with a song that could have been influenced by Scott Walker before things start cranking up again in ‘Hypochondriac’.
It’s fair to say that The Southern Electrics have demonstrated multiple facets to their sound in the same way The Beatles greatest records did, with a united and consistent feel to some incredibly diverse ideas.
This record has the instant novelty of the past fifty years built right into the contemporary rock sounds and, combined with the sudden changes in direction that form a collection of tangents, manages to both inspire and challenge.
Not a lot of records can do that!
Written by Fenton on