There’s not a lot I like about the modern world. Even less about modern technology. Except for one thing. Phone contracts have meant the death of text speak. This is not some Orwellian concept from 1984. This is the phenomenon about 1996 where everyone stopped writing properly, forgot vowels, and wrote in numbers to save a bit of mobile credit. I had a friend who didn’t use gaps between his words (to be fair 27 years later he’s still one of my best mates but I’ve still got him muted on WhatsApp).
So, yeah, you best believe I was triggered by the album title “2 Make U Cry & Dance” – but never mind, because it sort of suits Electric Mob anyway, given that their sound is from that era. That’s not to say “….Dance” is dated, it just sounds instantly classic.
It actually sounds fairly like their debut. 2020’s “Discharge” in truth. But a bit better better. On my review of that one I wrote “one day these Brazilians will make a classic record…..this one says “keep an eye on us”. I stand by that, given the quality of Renan Zonta’s vocals. He’s sensational. Nathan James, David Coverdale (not now, when he could actually sing) good. Bluesy, rich and capable of the odd Myles Kennedy-esque roar to boot. This time, too, the songs he’s got to sing are classier.
The slow building “Sun Is Falling” is a case in point. When its hook hits, it’s got a real thump, Electric Mob are more charged up, if you will. Ben Hur Auwarter’s riffs are dirtier too, “Will Shine”, does just that, and comes in with the best chorus they’ve got.
Likewise, the rhythm section has some real beef this time around, “It’s Gonna Hurt” broods and lurks, waiting to attack. The whisper is oddly powerful, and even the more throwaway “By The Name” has a soul.
There’s nothing like a ballad, which is cool, as I have never been a fan of hard rock bands shoehorning ballads in if they weren’t there, but to be fair, EM could do with a little more light and shade. “Soul Stealer” is a fine song for example, but there’s a feeling of “yeah, heard this before”.
That said, they’ve attempted to colour things a little. “4 Letters” adds a summery, almost Latin acoustic tinge – before the big hooky chorus hits again – and “Locked And Loaded” (which sounds like a million dollars) also sounds like you imagine it will when you scan the tracklist.
All of which makes “Saddest Funk Ever” a stand out. You can hear their personality coming out. This is like a Electric Boys tune, never mind an Electric Mob one. It’s the best thing here, although the Van Halen tinged “Thy Kingdom Come” isn’t far behind. As it hurtles to an end, it does so with marks of quality. “Love Cage” has come straight off the dancefloor at an 80s rock club, and “Watch Me (I’m Today’s News)” hints at some more modern stuff that they might want to explore next time around.
And I am still convinced that one day they’ll make the news. I am reminded that back in the day when we didn’t expert the earth from new bands, both Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen broke through with album number three.
“2 Make U Cry & Dance” may or may not make you do those things, but for Electric Mob, that classic album is still tantalisingly within their grasp.