Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Album Review: The Electric Grandmother - "Love in an Escalator"

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love silly, immature, and quirky things. Things like Adventure Time. Things like Evil Dead 2. Things like ordering a chili cheese burrito inside of a chili cheese burrito at Taco Bell because I can. I have an affinity for things that don't take themselves too seriously, music not withstanding. I mean, just look at the rad bros in Twelve Foot Ninja. If there was any other band that followed my chili cheese burrito inside of a chili cheese burrito because you can philosophy, it'd be The Electric Grandmother.

The Electric Grandmother (EG) is something else. Pete Faust and Mary Alice Hamnett, husband and wife have made this sitcom-core band together and have somewhat exploded onto the electro-indie-pop scene. "Wait, wait, wait. What the flying fuck is sitcom-core?" I hear you screech, hunched over your laptop, leathery wings flapping furiously in the air. (You are now a pterodactyl.) Well, my Cretaceous avian friend, I'm not going to tell you what it means. That just ruins it.

EG have pieced together their 7th release, Love in an Escalator, which comes off as neat and tidy electro-pop hooks tied in with lovable indie rock DIY attitude. There are samples galore on Escalator, with the only one I recognize being Bill Cosby's voice on the track "Mr. Clyde", but I have to say that I think on the song "Sitcom-Core" I hear flibbity flop bloobity bippity gumbo chops.

Things follow simple formula here: short, sweet songs that put a smile on your face whether you like it or not. Seriously, songs like "Mac Tonight" and "Baby Geniuses" just get stuck in your head, and with their goofy lyrics and beat, it's tough not to bop along happily. That's not to say Escalator is devoid of any emotional content, as the title track covers themes such as drastic change, in one's life and how to weather it and press forwards. Faust handles most of the vocals on the album, with Hamnett coming in as backup and for a couple vocal trade-offs. While I wouldn't say they have the greatest voices in the world, there's just something genuine, warm, and inviting about their voices that I can't quite put my finger on, whether they're singing about McDonalds or love.

Something I really like about EG is their fearlessness with letting you know what their influences are. "Reagan's Got the Bomb" definitely shows a love for noise rock and old school hardcore punk. In fact, it's somewhat reminiscent of a band I reviewed a while back, SexGender. Songs like "Mom, what are Girl's like?" and "Virtual Reality Helmet" show a bit of love for old school hip-hop. All of these influences crop up during the album, but never do they feel out of place from the rest of the album.

If there's anything I'd have to criticize Escalator with, it would be to increase the intensity some more. By adding dynamics, I think Escalator would have been much more enjoyable. Other than "Reagan's got the Bomb", things stay at a mostly mid-paced, mid-volume level and start to get stale by the end of the album's half hour running time. I'm dissapointed an album to run so short began to bore me by the end.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: Love in an Escalator, The Internet, Mr. Clyde, The Tired Robots Ride the Escalator

On a Playlist With: I can't really find anything that sounds quite like The Electric Grandmother. I'm told that fans of Ween, The Residents, and Dead Milkmen will find something to enjoy from this release.

Overall Score


The Electric Grandmother have crafted their own electro-pop identity that no other band or artists I've heard can really emulate. It's goofy, it's fun, and it's maturely immature. Choice songs from Love in an Escalator will definitely be played and replayed whenever I need to put a smile on my face. I only wish there was a bit more variety on the release.

You can check out The Electric Grandmother's bandcamp page here, and you can pick up Love in an Escalator from Infinite Number of Sounds Recording Company.

That's all for now, folks! Don't take yourself too seriously.


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