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
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!'
And Don't Say Fuck is a punk rock jab in the eye designed
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