Electric Flower Group – EP II

After their promising first EP, Electric Flower EP, Brooklyn duo Imaad Wasif and Josh Garza have returned with another accomplished collection of tracks on their sophomore effort, EP II. As with the first EP, only three songs are present, but the content contained in the songs is of a high quality and features similar tropes and qualities as their debut, which first demanded our attention.

With the excellent guitar work and band interplay featured on the first record, the tracks build upon this and elaborate further the duo’s fine songwriting. Tracks range from the likes of “Eclipsed,” an effortlessly cool, distorted 60s pop track, to “Cocoon,” another of the band’s tracks that both evolve and flourish, opening with a dark guitar line and hypnotic repetition of the line ‘To see your love come shining,’ before building into claustrophobic layers of competing guitar lines. Wasif and Garza show their true musicianship with tracks that don’t simply adhere to the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus, but offer intelligent and intricate structures and ideas. Even on the almost pop-like single “Eclipsed,” where the track does largely follow a standard structure, the duo show an adeptness in their ability to craft something both original and interesting.

The first track on EP II, “Eclipsed” is perhaps the one that would stand out more immediately and, as mentioned previously, acts as an effortlessly cool and accomplished 60s inspired guitar pop track. Whilst featuring the same level of raw energy and distorted guitar of the Sonic Youth-ish “Four 16″ from their debut record, the song also sounds bright and has an almost summery quality to it, with a distinct and memorable melody to the chorus around the line, “You’re the sun eclipsed in my mind.” It’s the perfect mix of melody and raw guitars that makes the track shine as it does, and it’s been one of the best guitar tracks of the year so far.

The contrast of the bright alternative pop feel of “Eclipsed” is quickly counter balanced by “Cocoon,” a both dark and intense affair. It’s here we see Wasif’s guitar work at it’s finest, slowly building into a chugging riff before returning to the repetitive guitar line of the first part of the song, but building subtle layers of more guitar and rumbles of bass with each one competing for it’s place in the song. It’s a both intense and neurotic affair, yet the hypnotic and psychedelic finish is captivating.

“The Electrician,” a cover of Scott Walker’s film-noir-ish symphonic 1978 track, is as bleak and obscure a cinematic effort as the original, yet Electric Flower Group make it their own, using sprawling guitar lines and shadows of synth to counter Walker’s use of strings in the middle section. The duo’s version feels darker, more guttural and almost threatening with its focus on the verse’s ominous and distant tremolo picked guitar before the release of drums and lead guitar in the middle section of the track make it an understated epic.

Once again, Wasif and Garza have recorded an accomplished effort, building upon ideas and roads the first EP perhaps didn’t find the time to follow, whilst still retaining the raw, focused energy of the duo’s interplay and fine songwriting. EP II feels very much accomplished and mature, and with the tracks on the band’s first effort, the duo already have a strong catalogue of songs. We very much wish to hear a full length album very soon.


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