Electric Sister play a brand of hard rock that I thought was lost for good. As a teenager in the seventies, I have always had a special affinity for bands such as UFO, Alice Cooper, Rush, and Ted Nugent. There was a lot of other cool stuff around too, such as all those New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts. When Motley Crue first appeared, they really hadn’t defined the “hair metal” formula yet. But along with Poison, Cinderella, and even Def Leppard, that would become the dominant strain of metal. Today we listen to those groups, and ones like them with nostalgia – and about the only thing I seem to hear about any more are the really extreme, “heavier than heavy” metal groups.
The five guys who make up Electric Sister knew what they were talking about when they titled their album The Lost Art of Rock & Roll. I guess I really didn’t realize just how “lost” the art was until I heard this disc, because it reminded me of a kind of music I had not heard in a long time. Sure metal is still around, in various forms – but that good old hard rock sound of Led Zeppelin and other seventies heroes has been gone for some time now.
This is most definitely a current recording though, not a throwback. From the opening “New Mother Earth” it is clear that Electric Sister are their own band. The production is bright and clear, and the guitars crunch with pure power. The “School’s Out”- styled riff is a great starting point, but there is much more to this album than just serious riffage. For a couple of wild exercises in dynamics, check out “Monster Girl,” and the title track – both rock most convincingly.
Great bands always know when to shade the light with the dark. For a little variety, Electric Sister have included a very cool 1:20 acoustic-guitar piece titled “Echo Park.” After this we are plunged headlong into the final track, a non-stop slab of action called “City of Night.” The guitars are a major presence all the way through the album, but the solo during this track is a wild blast of fury.
For those who remember the seventies heyday of what was once called “hard rock,” but don’t want to get stuck in the endless loop of “classic rock,” I highly recommend Electric Sister. They absolutely get it, and with The Lost Art of Rock & Roll, the band actually has something to add to a genre I thought was basically over. This is a great album all the way through.