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Electric Mob: Discharge

Well, you can’t accuse Frontiers Records of not being true to their word. Yes, they are still blazing a trail for the standard bearers of 80s rock, with new albums in recent months from the likes of House Of Lords and Enuff Z’nuff keeping up that tradition. However, the Italian label made a promise a few years back to expand their outlook both in terms of not just signing up established bands, but to also begin to steer away from only being a melodic rock outlet - and with the likes of Paralydium and Michael Grant And The Assassins now in their stable there’s no denying they’ve done just that. The latest in the list of genre benders is Electric Mob, a Brazilian hard rock and blues outfit who, while hardly reinventing any wheels here, certainly don’t sound like a stereotypical Frontiers act.

The main draw is undoubtedly vocalist Renan Zonta - a man with real heart and soul, as well as a heck of a range and a whole lot of vocal power. The band round about him are no slouches either, with guitarist Ben Hur Auwarter a veritable riff monster. Add in the powerful, if hardly flashy rhythm section of Yuri Elero and André Leister and all that Electric Mob truly need to make their debut offering, Discharge, a mighty beast, is a set of songs that take a hold of you and simply won’t let go. Like so many before them though, that’s where things don’t quite meet the hype that this band are building up around them. Yes, pre-album video tracks like “Devil You Know” and “Far Off” suggest we’re dealing with the real deal, the former stomping into view on a Zonta howl and measured handclaps before exploding into a slide riff monster that’s all Skynyrd sass and Zeppelin heft. With the latter grinding its girders on a groove that’s gargantuan indeed, there’s no doubt that Electric Mob can rock in a bluesy fashion with the best of them. However it’s when these lads look to add the all needed variance to their more obvious offerings that things come a little unstuck. Yes, “Your Ghost” means well as the atmospherically echoing keys and rich vocals look to add atmosphere but it’s all just a little too leaden to truly hit home. Add in the over engineered Aerosmith brass of “Higher Than Your Heels” - where Zonta comes across as a second rate Glenn Hughes - and it really can feel as though these songs have been ever so slightly forced onto this album to prove that Electric Mob aren’t one trick ponies.

To be fair, the cards these lads do hold up their sleeve are almost enough to win at any table, with “We Are Wrong” a right royal romp that confirms the Guns n’ Roses-isms hinted at throughout. Add in the low slung saunter of “Got Me Runnin’” (which suffers from another of this album’s achilles heels - namely some rather cliched lyrics) and if proof were needed, this lot really can bring a truly terrific noise. However, balance that against the bluster of “Gypsy Touch” and the rather listless “123 Burn”, which just never seems to know whether it’s a riff bursting bombast bomb, or insidious inside job, and there’s still work to be done.

As debuts go, Discharge is good. In fact in places it’s seriously impressive. And yet, at times there are one or two real misfires and so much so that the momentum ignited is immediately extinguished. That said, for the playlist generation that’s maybe not the stumbling block it once was for folks like me. Whether Frontiers are the label to tap into that market, well that’s another question.

Track Listing
1. Awaken
2. Devil You Know
3. King's Ale
4. Got Me Runnin'
5. Far Off
6. Your Ghost
7. Gypsy Touch
8. 123 Burn
9. Upside Down
10. Higher Than Your Heels
11. Brand New Rope
12. We Are Wrong

Added: July 25th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Electric Mob online
Hits: 856
Language: english

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