Album review: Electric Boys “Ups!de Down”

By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks

A more mature and seasoned band is emerging on the exquisite new Electric Boys album “Ups!de Down”. Who knew that Electric Boys had a secret desire to be a naughty version of The Traveling Wilburys?

Swedish rockers Electric Boys take us for another terrific and funky ride on the band’s seventh studio album, “Ups!de Down”. I have always dug this band and I was fortunate enough to see them live a few times in 1989 and 1990 when they toured in support of their just-released debut album “Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride”. Founding members Conny Bloom (guitar and vocals) and Andy Christell (bass) are still the driving force of the band. Guitarist Franco Santunione exited the band last year and has, once again, been replaced by Martin Thomander, who originally took over from Franco in 1993-94. Drum duties continue to be shared between original drummer Niclas Sigevall and Jolle Atlagic (who came into the band after having played with Conny and Andy in Hanoi Rocks in 2008-09, including some great gigs here in Japan). Jolle plays all the drums on the album as Niclas was prevented to travel to the recording studio due to the global pandemic. Electric Boys has always been a band with attitude and swagger. But they can back that up with quality. They always deliver. They open their new album with a seven-minutes and twenty-seconds long instrumental piece called “Upside Down Theme”. Not exactly what industry experts would suggest you do. But this band doesn’t care. They are confident and they do what they do. It’s up to you if you dig it or not. I dig it. “Ups!de Down” is quite a diverse album. There is a foundation built on rock and pop from the 1960s and 70s, mixed up with some funk, groove and blues and given the Electric Boys treatment to arrive at a contemporary style of rock music that is absolutely terrific. The splendid “Super God” is groovy rock meets 60s pop. “She Never Turns Around” is a terrific ballad. “Globestrutter” and “Never Again Your Slave” are energetic rocker songs with a swagger attitude. The fantastic “Tumblin’ Dominoes” has some cool Neil Young and Tom Petty vibes, but more than anything it is an exquisite Electric Boys song. Who knew that Electric Boys had a secret desire to be a naughty version of The Traveling Wilburys? On the track “It’s Not the End” the Wilburys vibes return. Those vibes suit Electric Boys very well and are seemingly part of a natural progression of a maturing band. In “The Dudes & the Dancers” we get some Mott the Hoople seasoning sprinkled over the Electric Boys sound. There are also plenty of tips of the hat and nods to The Beatles throughout the album. It’s a relaxed, laidback album. It is performed as if it were done effortlessly. But, make no mistake about it, there’s a ton of talent, skill, experience and bloody hard work behind the creation of a new Electric Boys album.

Electric Boys’ new album “Ups!de Down” will be released on 30th April via Mighty Music.

www.facebook.com/electricboys

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