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Electric Eel Shock - Beat Me


Review: Jack Foley

WE ALL know how the Japanese like to take things to extremes, so it's little wonder to find that Electric Eel Shock push rock 'n' roll to its ragged edge.

Debut album, Go Europe!, was the musical version of extreme cinema, a hopelessly OTT collection of guitar-driven tracks that are designed with ear-drum piercing in mind.

The follow-up, Beat Me, is no less extreme - although a little more refined, thanks to the presence of Grammy-nominated producer, Attie Bauw (Scorpions, Bootsy Collins, etc), who has attempted to harness their raw onstage power and make it more studio-friendly.

Yet the title of tracks should give you a clue as to what to expect - Scream For Me, Bastard!, I Can Hear The Sex Noise and Don't Say Fuck are just some of the examples.

Their PR credits them with 'occupying the gaping void somewhere between Queens of the Stone Age, AC/DC and Black Sabbath' but Beat Me only rarely feels comfortable in such territory.

Lemon Lees, for example, is evidence of the band reigning it in somewhat and contains some really terrific guitar solo work - even though the band can't resist the tendency to veer wildly out of control late on.

While Killer Killer starts out as a psychedelic groover that hints at signs of maturity. Once again, however, it runs riot towards the end.

But Slow Down does exactly the opposite of its title and is the sort of drum-heavy head-banger that might appeal more to the metal crowd.

It's clear that Electric Eel Shock's true interest lies in making as much noise as possible, in as frenetic a style as possible.

Hence, Scream For Me is a riot of stampeding guitars with Akihito's strained vocals shouting 'scream for me baby!' over them.

And Don't Say Fuck is a punk rock jab in the eye designed to hurt.

On the plus side, Beat Me is more accomplished than Go Europe! and certainly hints at a growing maturity that has the classic style of Black Sabbath in mind.

But Electric Eel Shock have a long way to go before they can be considered anything special.

The album is strictly for die-hard rock junkies or the Japanese among you.

Track listing:
1. Scream For Me
2. Bastard!
3. I Can Hear The Sex Noise
4. Don't Say Fuck
5. Lemon Lees
6. Killer Killer
7. Slow Down
8. Beat Me
9. Rock & Roll Kills The Blues
10. Mile End
11. I Love Fish But Fish Hate Me
12. Iron Man

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