Electric Frankenstein

The Dawn of Electric Frankenstein

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Electric Frankenstein leader Sal Canzonieri has done a little-vault raiding. Having unexpectedly uncovered his punishing punk band's first demo while moving house, the guitarist/writer then set about to release the five hellacious, long-forgotten, unheard tracks via XXX. That in itself would have made a strong release: At the dawn of this New York/New Jersey quartet's formation in 1992, the group sounded even more like a fiery Detroit Stooges/MC5-type powerhouse, like a hundred terrific Detroit-derived Australian groups of the last 25 years. In fact, these offerings positively rock, in all the down and dirty, filthy, fleshy, teeth-gritting raw power and smack the genre is loved for -- complete with Steve Miller's feral snarl straight out of the Sonics' raw-garage tradition. A few Johnny Thunders guitar leads, some Wayne Kramer power-chords, and Stiv Bators soar throat, plus a more-modern-punk crunch all electrocute "Ruin You," "Never Gonna Get It" and "Lie to Me." Hot, hot, hot.

But to make The Dawn of an even better value and historical document, 12 tracks (most also previously unreleased) by three pre-EF bands round out the CD. Miller's four wild, as-great Crash Street Kids' cuts clearly point towards his later EF work, with the same animal vocals and a rocket-blasting band. Crackers for sure, again with more zinging, high pummel guitar. Next, Canzonieri's late-'80s group the Thing get a re-hearing via some Peel Session cuts and some other loose change, this being more of quasi-psychedelic, less straight proto-punk outfit with a menacing, diseased, Sonic Youth-meets-Hawkwind air. Finally Sal's bassist brother Dan Canzonieri serves up four more recordings of his own formative group, Kathedral, which is a post-Cure/Christian Death scary, death-march knelling brand of Goth band, albeit a nastier variety.

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