Electric River were a band that caught my eye just by the name, so I thought I would check out what they had to offer. It also turned out that they were bringing out a brand new EP called ‘In Your Name’. When I was reading up about them, you know the usual, five piece band from the London area. We have Sponge on bass and vocals, Chris Aldis on guitar, Will Whisson on guitar and vocals, Alex Mayland on drums and last but least CJ on keys. They promote themselves as punk pop rock, I have found they have a very refreshing light sound, with heaps of energy behind it.
This year so far they have done a full UK tour with Vex and The Howling, played at BT Live Festival at Hyde Park, shared the stage with punk rockers The Downtown Struts and The Sydney Ducks. Now they have just released obviously their brand new EP ‘In Your Name’.
Electric River open with ‘Happy’, an instant feel of 1980s indie rock. Vocals are melodic and airy. Guitar is delicate backed with vocal harmonies sending you in a dreamy hypnotic state. The lyrics are intimate but not specific, but there is an embedded message that the listener can relate to or create their meaning behind them.
The punk essence comes from the history behind the whole indie, alternative rock scene, it was adopted when indie first came to be in the mid eighties, as they were produced through post-punk labels. You can see this clearly in their second track ‘Hold Your Nerve’. By far the best production on their EP. Drummer Alex brings an exhilarate liveliness, with a faster rhythm that is addictive. The melody is catchy with a harsher tone. This song really picks up the EP and breaks up the too ‘sensitive’ touch that indie gets associated with.
‘In Your Name’ has a more contemporary approach, the classic piano keys are heightened throughout the verses, smoothing the rough edges and filling the empty spaces. This song is just full of life. The solo is introduced giving Electric River a real rock and roll backbone.
‘Still’ has a darker opening with an organ effect on keys that are extremely gentle in the background, putting emphasis on the vocals, this brings melancholia vibes. Lyrically this song is so powerful and cathartic, encouraging the listener to fall into a bed of emotions.
To end the EP they do an acoustic cover of ‘Hold Your Nerve’. It is a great mellow ending, with a familiar aura. Drums appear towards the end of the song as they build to a strong bold finish.
Electric River are a band that have taken the character of indie from it’s orgins like The Eels, The Clash, The Smiths and punk legends The Ramones, into a current state. The EP has collaboration of different sub-genres, It will be intriguing what direction they take for their second album. 8/10.
2. Hold Your Nerve
3. In Your Name
5. Hold your Nerve (Acoustic)