On Photoelectric, The Begowatts’ debut album, you hear the group unleash some tight, fast, and impressive electric guitar work and drum action. With opener “In the Nighttime”, the band jumps straight into it with relentless energy throughout. The guitar-led track featuring gritty vocals is plain old foot-stomping, frolicking, grunge-flavoured rock following a very familiar formula.
Other high-octane numbers include the slower but just as intense “Rock Lust” in which The Begowatts bring in a cowbell. The vocals in the rock and roller “Hard Times”, another extremely fun contribution, clear up, interplaying with the electric guitar that leads the party.
“Rock the Bugs Out” is a particularly fun song that is quite literally about finding all the bugs stuck in one’s house and getting rid of them. Anyone who has had to deal with any type of infestation will no doubt connect with the frustration in the voice of the band’s lead singer (David French) as he threatens to squash every little insect he can find.
Some similar differences define the various mellower numbers on Photoelectric. “Clinically Cool” is slow, intense, Skynyrd-ish and steady, highlighted by a few electric guitar solos that pop up throughout. “Dangerous” has many of the same elements except that it is not steady; the melody swells and recedes throughout the track’s run. The echoing backing vocals used during the chorus add a well-placed sense of confusion.
The call and response between vocals and electric guitar in “Eyes of a Woman” is an attention-grabber, as it is quite different from anything else on Photoelectric. The vocals are quite gritty, painfully so, as French talks about meeting a woman and understanding her true nature—not a good one according to him—through the look in her eyes.
Another one quite different from the rest is “…Still Dreaming”. It is slow, calm, and mellow with every layer—vocals, electric guitar, and drums—and yet, still intense. The song builds up from the beginning with backing vocals added at the halfway mark. Repeating over and over the line “still dreaming”, these extra vocals add, well, a dream-like quality to the listening experience.