Electric Retro Spectrum | SUB​-​URBAN

SUB-URBAN by Electric Retro Spectrum

Family Average: 4/7

Sorry to all you ravers out there. This is not the hard-style revival album to bring the genre back form obscurity. No in fact this instead a fantastic explosion of Noise Rock, Doom Metal, Surf Rock by Electric Retro Spectrum. On their latest album released on Stolen Body Records they push further on into the void. Bringing us back messages political intrigue, among other things. Lets’s get SUB-URBAN PEOPLE!

As for all you techno fans, I don’t want you to feel left out so I will place some peak dance moves below. Just watch this guy rip up the CHA CHA SLIDE.


Sean: Electric Retro Spectrum made an album for bungee jumping in space.

This music makes me want to invent newer, more extreme activities. It has this trembling surf rock sound wrapped a hundred times over in doom. Is surf-doom a thing? If it was not before, it is now.

This music could be the surfing anthem for the later on. Like in about five or so years when the earth becomes an uninhabitable wasteland, this can be the soundtrack. Picture Mad Max meets Point Break. I am so excited I am going to start sharpening my skegs in eager preparation.

There are some poignant messages coming through the lyrics as well. It’s always swell when a band has an ax to grind. The album heaps on lots of talk about political awareness. Trying to spark thoughts through music can be powerful stuff. I appreciate the sentiment.

Its doom, its gloom, and it has a mind of its own.



Electric Retro Spectrum convinced me. I might like doom.

I've actually developed an appreciation for doom grunge stuff, simply by virtue of having to listen and make unwarranted comments for this blog. Mind you, I don't actively seek it out, but I've hit the point where I don't shut it off or excuse myself from the room. That's growth, people.

Now, enter this album by Electric Retro Spectrum. A stoner-y (kind of), psych-y, grunge-y, doom-y, sludgy piece of work that really got me. It's an interesting assemblage of 90s noise grunge (which I like) and psychedelic sounds (which I love). The songs are lengthy, but not tiresome. It's an energetic release with moments of lulled guitar and deep vocals that juxtapose the erratic noise. They're running on a trajectory and yield an experience in which instruments build and crash into each other, dripping with a sort of gauzy, psychedelic undercurrent. Carried by some Courtney Love-esque vocals, it delivers lyrics of youth empowerment and the rejection of gun violence -- a political, ideological bent that proves more compelling than the usual doom-and-gloom-we're-all-gonna-die-hail-satan kinda stuff.

"Plane" was by far my favorite; slowed down with that languid, psychedelic tone, building into a crashing assemblage of noise. It never bubbles into complete chaos though, and is always pulled back by a really lovely, almost delicate, guitar riff.

Overall, the instrumentals draw from varied references and influences, giving it this interesting, experimental quality. I like 'em.



I like just how fat these tracks sound. It feels like someone is loading a well balanced meal into a shotgun and shooting it into my stomach. While I cant make out most of the lyrics, I feel like the songs here carry some sort of a political message? Either that, or I completely mis-interpreted the vision.

It was really hard for me to pick my favorite song here but I am going to have to go with “FRONT LINE”. For some reason I can't stop listening to it. I like how the track name ties well in relation to its order on the album. It gave me this imagination that Electric Retro Spectrum was like an army that was going to kill me with political knowledge. The vocals hit in all the right places and the explosive chorus just fucks me up. Thank you for this LP and the spooky woodland band picture.



I can sum up SUB-URBAN in one sentence, and in our native language: Trop de guitare; pas mal, ça envoie du lourd, mais trop de guitare.



Give me a sticky, dark basement somewhere cold in Brooklyn, and I think I would be happy to come upon Electric Retro Spectrum. Might be kind of hard considering it looks like they’re from France. Anyways, it’s always refreshing to see woman lead try to break into the often male-centric world of head-banging, angry as fuck grunge and psychedelic. This is the kind of psychedelic shit I like by the way. Bye bye hippie bullshit, hello spewing guts of trippy hellfire!

They’re pissed, that’s clear. With lyrics like the opening “IF THE MEN OF POWER WERE IN FRONT LINE// THE WAR WOULD END BEFORE IT STANDS” we know they’re drawing a lot of inspiration from the frustration of current (slash timeless) political climates. But the songs are unapologetically raw in their anger, that they manage to become beautiful. I could see myself swinging around and spilling my cheap beer to “SEASONS” in particular when it gets real grungy.

Pas mal du tout! Tres bien, Electric Retro Spectrum. J’aime ça!


Sean Maldjian