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Susan Frances 08/10/08 10:19 PM

Your Highness Electric - The Grand Hooded Phantom
Your Highness Electric - The Grand Hooded Phantom
Record Label: Longhair Illuminati Records
Release Date: June 3, 2008

There is a turn in the tide to go back in time to the days of psychedelic blues rock reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Ten Years After, and The Edgar Winter Group. The public has heard it in bands like UNKLE, Seawolf, Wolfmother, The Mooney Suzuki, and the UK’s The Heavy to name just a few that have broken into mainstream. Newly emerged from Longhair Illuminati Records is Your Highness Electric, whose latest release The Grand Hooded Phantom, which shares a kindred spirit with Led Zeppelin, like the soul rock pitch of lead singer Brandon Bondehagen whose vocals come close to sounding like Robert Plant, and Bob Scott’s smoky blues rock tinged guitar chords whose arcs beam out like Jimmy Page. The bass playing of Brad Magers is deep fried in funk rock, and the rumbling drums of Terry Campbell reinsert the cool swagger of early ‘70s rock.

The band’s track “We Kentuckians” is a tribute to their home state with verses like “Catch the drift and waltz on poor man’s liquor / We Kentuckians unite! / 9 to 5 is not success for a drifter / Pack the ones you love and drive.” The words are as psychedelic as the folkloric glow of the music with verses that ring out, “Brave little wolves will stalk these arms to tired to carry / Takes another rifle shot that passes through the stars / No it won’t seem a million miles if there’s a nice view / No this must be a sacred rule” from the song, “The World’s Biggest Necklace.” The lyrics have a prophetic-edge to them relatable to Led Zeppelin’s content.

The guitar arcs are braided in and out of the melodic patterns with the heavy dawdling keys of the bass pulling everything down like in “Bearskin Love.” Bondehagen’s vocals sear the melody “Army Green” with a rhythmic cadence embedding a gospel-rock touch reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix. The songs feel like they are from another time like the way Wolfmother and UNKLE dredge up past fumes in their music. Numbers like “Apocalypse Town” and “Wine Red Lips” have country rock overtones and scrambled guitar chords embalmed in bluesy psychedelics. Many songs like “Bob Sugar Sex Magic” and “Our Albatrosses” feel like Your Highness Electric are rehashing the past, which is fine for fans who missed out on that time with Led Zeppelin and wanted a piece of it. Other than that, the album offers very little else.

The album begins with a brigade of simmering Afro-beats and jazz horns which pique the audience's interest, but once over, the band falls into a rut of the past and that interest starts to wane. Your Highness Electric’s album, The Grand Hooded Phantom goes one way and that’s in reverse back to Led Zeppelin and it stays there. It’s an album that lets you hear about the past and only the past.

Recommended if you like: Led Zeppelin, UNKLE, The Mooney Suzuki