Promise Comes in Threes
Newly formed psycho dreamers Electric Flower Group have cut their vampiric chompers on two back-to-back EPs, and the results are quite arresting. Where the first triptych, simply titled Electric Flower EP, is a little shakier and germinal under the microscope, the second threesome, conveniently called Electric Flower EP II, proves a more robust man-eating disease. If they keep it up, guitarist and vocalist Imaad Wasif and drummer Josh Garza seem just the night-shaded duo poised to pop off a real monster LP. Fingers crossed!
EP II’s “The Electrician” approaches kitsch in its strangeness, beginning with a dirge-like Morrison-inflected opening, only to do a 180 and heave into oddly cathartic territory. “If I jerk the handle, you’ll die in your dreams,” croons Imaad, invoking the all-too-common capital punishment ghost story. I mean, how many times?! Seriously, though, with the flip of a switch, Electric completes the unlikely circuit between Type O Negative’s musky baroque and The Strokes’ punkish balladeering—all while compacting The Green Mile into Nightmare On Elm Street. If this sounds odd and enchanting, mission accomplished.
“Cocoon,” too, is quite the chimera. With its space cadet solos, ice-cold riff and mosh pit drums, it’s like a pterodactyl threw Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral” into the ‘80s LA punk scene. Josh pounds us into some hypno rite as Imaad’s guitar zigzags through a climactic, two-minute super drone. Calling Iggy Pop: Someone’s flattering you again.
EP I lacks the sweet-and-sour interest of its sequel. “Faces” is a straight-ahead psych number about surface versus reality, doing its job OK—but without that flight of fancy the duo proves to harness elsewhere. “Four16” is the numbingest cut, goading us ‘long a charmless procession toward some artemesian grunge goddess. “Four16, your god and queen,” the chorus fizzles. Sorry! I demand more from my pagan goddess songs.
Thankfully, EP I wins us over with the lysergic heartache of “Circles,” an in-the-pocket shoegazer recalling the romance of Blue Öyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper.” At the four-minute mark, we’re even treated to some Television-style give-and-take musicianship. High grade!
If all this output is any indication of what’s to come in a full-blown album, we’re in for a good one.