All Music Guide
The spirit of the Ramones and Iggy and the Stooges
is what hovers over the tunes aboard this eight-song album of mayhem
from this quintet of power-punk rockers from New Jersey. Almost
everything is played in the same key and everything sports the pre-punk
approved two-beat rhythm played at warp factor speed ten. Since
attitude is everything on these types of records, the band succeeds
mightily; the music is well played, the sounds are predictable and
whatever meaning the lyrics had are long gone in the molten-lava metal
mix of guitar riffs vying for space with tons of thudding bass and
drums. Catchy though derivative, tunes like "I'll Be Standing," Learn
To Burn" and "Born Wild" nonetheless stick in your brain and although
this album was recorded in 1996 and '97, it sounds like it could have
emerged out of anybody's garage studio in the late '70s or early '80s.
~ Cub Koda (of Brownsville Station), All Music Guide
Satan Stole My Teddy Bear
If more people knew about Electric Frankenstein, motivational speakers like Tony Robbins would be out of business forever. With the addition of this 10-song EP as an integral part of your record collection, the need for outside incentive is alleviated. This is a record of independence and impetus. This EF EP also gives us ace vocalist Scott Wilkins (ex-Verbal Abuse) at his snottiest (see also "Fractured"). After a peppy drum intro courtesy of the brilliant John Steele, the opening track extols the busy life with "Some take their action low, I take my action high." "I'll Be Standing" is a must-hear. The snaky rhythm of "Not Wit U" makes it the most danceable punk song this reviewer has ever heard. "Back At You" and the cleverly titled "Clock-wise" are urgent calls to action with "Your life's a celebration" and "You gotta make your mark before the moment's gone." The record ends with a first-rate cover of F-Word's "Out There" (1978) in which Scott poses the scathingly accusatory question "Why you always point your finger at me?"
Interesting sidenote: F-Word singer Rik L Rik later became a temp EF singer, and did a great job. Unlike other EF records, this one gets a little thin in the middle, but the remaining songs go above and beyond the call of compensation duty. Not to sound like a broken record, but this is another highly recommended EF release. With a discography a mile long, this is a band that practices what it preaches.
Pure in-your-face smash crash bang bam rock and roll played with adrenaline and style. If you're sick of all these trite poser bands trying to impress you with all their complicated shit rock, then Electric Frankenstein will be a refreshing change of pace. I've heard very few rock bands of late who play such direct, driving, intense music. There are lots of pluses here. The artwork is great...the 10" disc is on colored vinyl...and the band's songs absolutely KICK ASS. This band's drummer knows how to pack a mighty punch, and the rest of the guys simply play their balls off like there's no tomorrow. Eight tunes, including "Action High," "Back At You," "Clockwise," and "Out There." True rock music played the way it ought to be played. This is total and complete FUN. I bet they guys put on a killer show. (Rating:5)
It's practically impossible to stay on top of Electric Frankenstein's discography, as this quintet of Jerseyites are about as prolific as a band can get. The Electric F. also seems to change vocalists on a regular basis, but that doesn't stop this monstrous musical creation from storming through your neighborhood with its brand of catchy punk. Sick Songs has its own share of "hits" with "Action High", "Not With U" and "Learn to Burn." Each of these tracks are complex enough musically not to be flung into the three-chord punk-rock lump, but retains enough of that simplistic punk ethos for fist-raising excitement! Vocalist Scott Davenso's (who's replaced on later releases) nasal vocals are reminiscent of the Angry Samoans, especially with his snotty, bratty attitude. Maybe Igor accidentally dropped a few guitar picks into the Frankenstein cranial cavity or our creation actually got his life juice from an improperly grounded guitar amp, but Electric Frankenstein has plenty of infectious punk energy left in it to ravage many a disenchanted teenage suburban inhabitant. Parents, keep the doors locked and the torches lit!
The History of Rock Music
The 10-song mini-album Sick Songs (Nesak, 1997) is an outstanding collection of anthemic rockers like Action High, I'll Be Standing, Not Wit U, Learn To Burn, Back At You, Clock-wise, Out There, that will remain fan favorites. The guitars of Jim Foster and Sal Canzonieri are in full bloom.
Miss out on these three Electric Frankenstein albums when this stuff came out in 1994-1997? Then you're in luck. One Foot has repackaged them, and added videos and some additional tracks for your Electric Frankenstein listening pleasure.
For the unfamiliar, EF is kinda MC5 meets The Misfits, taking a '70s hard rock approach to the DIY ethic. With lots and lots of loud guitars. The first two of these feature singer Steve Miller (no, not the famous one, silly), while Sick Songs has Scott Wilkins singing instead. Wilkins is slightly more melodic than Miller, who tends more towards a streetpunk gruff bellow. For that reason, if you had to choose one, I'd go with Sick Songs, but frankly, the difference in singers is a surprisingly subtle one overall.
That being the case, you might wanna base which ones you get, or the order in which you get them, on the songs covered on each album. The Time is Now includes AC/DC's "High Voltage," Conquers The World has four covers ("Just Like Your Mom" by Vox Pop/Jeff Dahl, "Home of the Brave" by Naked Raygun, "Coolest Little Monster," originally a novelty track sung/spoken by TV horror host Zacherly, and Motorhead's "We Are the Roadcrew"), while Sick Songs has "Frustration" by Crime and "Out There (F-Word)" by Rik L Rik. Of course, if you like your music stripped down and the guitars turned up, you could always just get all three!