Crash Kelly

Electric Satisfaction

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In an obvious tribute to his hero Marc Bolan's breakthrough album with T. Rex, Electric Warrior, Canadians Crash Kelly named their second opus Electric Satisfaction -- and, most will agree, they fully backed up its promise. And not only in terms of reconstituted glam rock nuggets in the T. Rex vein such as the piano-tinkling fun of "33 on the Charts," the handclap-driven boogie bubblegum of "Two Year Runaround," or the easy-strutting "Cracked and Faded," either. For you see, Crash Kelly wisely don't confine their '70s fixation exclusively to aping the pixie-ish "Rabbit Fighter," but are also happy to plunder Cheap Trick's effortless power pop hooks on cuts like "Ride the Wire" and "Rock and Roll Disasters (On the Radio)"; rewire Thin Lizzy's blue-collar riffs and high-flying dual guitar harmonies for "Hang Out Where You Matter," and "She Put the Shock (In My Rock'n'Roll)"; and partake in several other hard-edged glam sources such as the Sweet and Alice Cooper, whose Welcome to My Nightmare standard "Cold Ethyl" they cover here. What's more, "Turn it Around" simultaneously packs in the snaggle-toothed guitar bite of Ted Nugent and the anthemic qualities of Kiss; "Cut on Your Tongue" ranges from balls-to-the-wall AC/DC riffs to semi-country acoustic twangs, while "You're a Drag When You're High" meets somewhere between T. Rex, Jellyfish, and the Beatles themselves. Yes, yes: despite all these bright moments and lovable qualities, Electric Satisfaction still lacks that one unqualified pop smash that might take Crash Kelly beyond the realms of musical connoisseurs and into the iPods of the masses. But if you value the experience of album-length consistency and imagination in your music (and chances are if you value the '70s artists cited above, you almost surely must) then Crash Kelly's sophomore effort is an euphoric blast from the past, not to be missed.

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