The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA • October 13, 2000

Cock rock is alive and well, and living proof is in the pants of an awe-inspiring progressive rock import called Electrasy. This six-piece ensemble is an adrenaline-pumping synthesis of big European pop hum and unhinged bravado. Lead singer Ali McKinell worked the wall of tizzied girls against the stage into a blatant frenzy with vocal surge that sparked and burned, soothed and seduced. Ali’s vocals are well-rounded and come with a certain amount of sweetness, showcased brilliantly on a number called “Foot Soldierz,” which puts you in the mind of a last kiss at the end of summer camp love; heartwrenching, but necessary. But to his favor, he also has the ability to vocally soar with a cruelty that is completely unapologetic and as relentless as Jeff Buckley gone willingly mad or Sid Vicious suddenly sober.

Electrasy knows what they’re up against and failed to miss a step in keeping the crowd’s attention. Generally, when a band opens for a headliner with such a tremendous amount of fan support as Fuel, it’s a bitter, ugly fight against a sea of blank, angry faces who want you to shut the fuck up, break your gear down, and get off the stage; They don’t know the words to the songs, and it’s simply an exercise in time-torturous foreplay. Electrasy didn’t seem to suffer from this syndrome and didn’t neglect to give the crowd something they could join in on. A blast-away rendition of the classic Zeppelin tune “Dazed And Confused” set a wave of free love rushing through the room like a tornado picking up everything in its path.

Electrasy has big-venue sound and hasn’t neglected the notion that to achieve as such, you need a big-band line up. Guitarists Nigel Nisbet and Steve Atkins provide a remarkable balance of strong leads, slamming riffs, and are the perfect rock/punk/pop accomplices. Keyboardist Jim Hayden grants the same amount of considerable fever with a just-right melodic overture that is so sorely forgotten in this day and age of the three-man bands. Deep and groovy bass lines from bassist Alex Meadows coupled with the hard hitting (pardon the pun) of drummer Paul Pridmore to make the entire collective of Electrasy a stick of the hottest audio dynamite that could easily ignite at the mere suggestion of a match.

Electrasy’s material is flawlessly hook-laden, melodically driven, and deeply rooted in the idea or real rock n’ roll. This and their live show could easily set them apart from the pack of the current sludge that’s being spun. Given time and enough radio airplay, these will be the songs you’re humming, the ones you search for on the radio, and the same ones that make you dish out the 18 bucks for the CD. Time and money well spent, indeed.

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