Electric Frankenstein: Burn Bright, Burn Fast

By Kelly Johnson

Don’t people understand that the name of the monster in the famous “Frankenstein” story was not called Frankenstein?

Dr. Frankenstein was the name of the man who gave life to his beastly he-man. The name is often used incorrectly to refer to the doctor’s creation rather than himself.

If you were to tell this little bit of information to the band Electric Frankenstein, however, the response may be anywhere from a boot to the face to a beer bottle across the forehead.

Judging from the venomous rock ‘n’ roll spewed from the band’s 13th album, they doesn’t give a crap about how loud they play, how fast they rock or how their name incorrectly refers to the monster depicted in Mary Shelley’s classic book.

A quick glance at the back of the comic-inspired artwork adorned on the album gives you an idea of the band’s take-no-prisoners creed. Song titles such as “Everybody’s Dead Again,” “Spit it Out!,” “Hey! (Kiss Your Life Goodbye)” and “New World Whore” pretty much sum up the brash music that accompanies their attitude.

This is no apologies rock ‘n’ roll. Singer and guitarist Steve Miller (not the joker, smoker or midnight toker) uses his guttural yowl much like the late Bon Scott would. Drums crash, guitar solos soar and distorted guitars chug away with no concern for melody or variation.

However, with all this reckless abandonment, the band ends up sounding ultimately forgettable. Too safe to be captivating and too traditional to be dangerous, the music offers no variety or deterrence from its trademark style.

The lack of style is probably Frankenstein’s point. All the guys wanna do is rock, but this does not make for the best experience for the listener. As well-fitted as Miller’s voice is for rock ‘n’ roll, it begins to grate by the end of the album.

If nothing, the band certainly earns points for the artwork. Alas, a few more bolts are needed to make this monster come alive.