Electric Jellyfish

Electric Jellyfish

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

While one would want to avoid an electric jellyfish while swimming, not so the band of that name. They're not big on melody; rather this Melbourne, Australia trio taps into the three-decade wellspring of loud, harsh post-punk blues-inversion that that city/region has been famous for -- going back to the Birthday Party and their precursor, the Boys Next Door. With a previous release on Thurston Moore and Byron Coley's Ecstatic Yod label, extensive U.S. touring (somehow overcoming the 2007 deaths of guitarist Hayden Sweeney and his wife when the band's vehicle crashed near Cleveland), and airplay from WFMU, EJ have even managed to conquer the curse of great distance that prevents the lion's share of Aussie groups from making marks here. Like so many Down Under in the 1980s, one can hear distinctive traces of the Stooges in "Image of Power, Poolside," though it's the neo-psych jams of Ron Asheton and James Williamson's old Stooges playing, and the punishing repetition of the rhythm section lines, that bear resemblance, not proto-punk riffing à la Radio Birdman/Celibate Rifles. Even more effective is the cool-down vibe of the Doors-ish "Hellhound," its bass slinking along like bones rattling in a graveyard to a shimmy stutter beat and Leadbelly guitars, before the song disintegrates/explodes into a cacophonic blitz of noise-art blasts for a brief spell near the end (another Stooges trick, as per the Damned's cover of "1970"). All five tracks are different/mean/clanging, with a temper like a back-kicking horse.

blue highlight denotes track pick