Love Me Electric - The Sunrise Release Date: June 17th, 2008
Record Label: Unsigned
I am not Joe DeAndrea. You will not soon find me gushing over the new Hit the Lights album, nor will you hear even a peep from me when a new Fall Out Boy single drops. As loveable as my fellow staff member is, I do not share in his unwavering glee for all that is pop-punk. As with most genres I don’t find myself often coming back to though, there are some glaring exceptions. I don’t particularly care for folk, or its various deviations in to country, but I’d unzip my pants for Bob Dylan any day. You won’t soon find me listening to hip-hop on a regular basis, but you will find MIA and the Beastie Boys on my iPod. There’s been an exception in the pop-punk realm for a while now that have continued to please, and that’d be Love Me Electric. This is not to say this Illinois-based quintet is the only of its kind I’ll lend an ear (far from it), but The Sunrise certainly epitomizes what I find uber appealing in the genre.
I think it’s the band’s content with sticking to what they know that I found first attractive. They’re not trying to be a revolutionary force in pop-punk, but in that respect, I think they are revolutionary. Their lyrics do not overflow with pretentious teen-idol rhetoric bullshit (I know you know what I’m talking about), nor are their tires stuck in the muck of cliché. Love Me Electric is the most honest sound I’ve heard in the genre; they don’t bloat their image, they don’t dwell in lame diary-inspired metaphors, and they’re not going attempt to pawn an album full of filler to their listeners. Every single song on The Sunrise is a potential hit, eliminating what seems to be a trend – the non-stop listen and share, then move on to the next flavor of the week. This EP has lasting value down pat.
Care for a test-drive in the basics of Love Me Electric’s charm? Try giving a listen to “The Fast Track” where you’ll find the band’s signature lighthearted synth work (courtesy of Matt Cargill) and the excellent vocal tradeoff of vocalist slash bassist Dan Nicorata and Lucky Boys Confusion’s very own Stubhy. Or how about the lovely acoustic closer “Pink Slips”, a song written in the band’s early days that’s been given quite a nice facelift. The latter also displays the band’s very clear grasp of excellent vocal work, but so far as not overdoing it. Any band can flaunt a high pitch and maybe appease the listeners, but substituting flair for passionate, honest vocals that make you feel something in your heart rather than your pants is an aspect we don’t see enough these days.
“Pink Slips” isn’t the only song here to get a revitalization. “I’ll Count to 4” sees its return since we saw it last on the band’s previous EP, Medicine and Magic. You might question its place here, but the production this time around makes it clear the new blood for an old song can make a helluva difference: the vocals are crisp, the instrumentation even more lively and infectious as last round. “Irrational, But Fashionable”, the fourth song on the EP, is perhaps my favorite song off the EP. It involves every single aspect that makes the band great – an absolutely fantastic layer of keys, Dan Nicorata’s unrelenting and downright stirring vocal charge, drummer Bob McNellis keeping things splashy with excellent cymbal work, and one of the best closing choruses I’ve ever heard courtesy of guitarists Joe Nicorata and Mark Follenweider.
There a few names in the pop-punk genre that are absolutely doing things right. Love Me Electric is so clearly one of them. The Sunrise has quite a grasp as I’ve never had such affection for an album so early into listening to it as this one. I am indeed no Joe DeAndrea, but from the way I see it, I wouldn’t be so turned off by some of the bands in this scene if they had the dedication and genuine sound that Love Me Electric has lived and breathe from day one.
Great review Scott. I am glad to see that you share the same love and respect for these guys as I do. They have a very honest sound and stay true to who they are. This CD takes their music to the next level, while still sticking to what they do best. I really hope this release helps them get their name out there, because they definitely deserve it.