If New Electric Ride don’t travel at the speed of light, then they certainly travel at the speed of sound. Little else could explain the band’s rapid ascent from formation, to performance, to their thrilling ride into the high atmosphere with their full-length BBiB Records debut, “Balloon Age,” released February 25, 2014.
When it comes to the velocity at which New Electric Ride has traveled thus far, it’s fair to point out that the band had a bit of a head start, initially coming together as a band out of the ashes of a pub-rock project in Northeast England.
Yet there’s no disputing the band accomplished quite a bit quite quickly. After the recording and release of a very well-received self-titled debut E.P., it wasn’t long before the band began accumulating regular airplay on a variety of radio outlets, both in their native UK and elsewhere in Europe. Soon the band would be invited to record with the notable Black Cab Sessions series, while also securing live appearances throughout Europe, including a match-made-in-heaven opening slot with psychedelic legends The Pretty Things.
The speed of New Electric Ride would mean little without the sound, of course, and the band’s sound reaches dizzying heights with the release of “Balloon Age.” A tightly wound collection of songs that don’t unfold so much as they blossom, New Electric Ride display congenital comfort with outlandishly catchy melodies, high-grade harmonies and hooks by the barrelful.
Though the opening song (“Here Comes the Bloom”) announces that it’s “time to go with the flow,” there’s a distinct sense of master-level songcraft from beginning to end on “Balloon Age.
The insanely catchy riff that fuels album highlight “Marquis De Sade” is whipped only by the song that follows, “Bye Bye (Baton Rouge).” It’s the aural equivalent of a warm embrace, in the form of a melancholy break-up song, featuring harmony vocals for which the word “Byrds-ian” was invented.
Elsewhere, the miniature miracle of album interlude “I Feel So Invited” invites comparisons to nothing less than The Beatles’ “Because” – and that’s only the first half of New Electric Ride’s journey into the “Balloon Age.”
Despite the great distances they’ve covered in almost no time at all, it’s clear that the New Electric Ride will remain on the road for quite some time to come, both literally and figuratively. With a spot confirmed in the line-up at the upcoming Berlin Psych Fest in April (alongside The Electric Moon, The Wands, Vibravoid and others) and advance praise for “Balloon Age” already pouring in, New Electric Ride invite you to come along for the ride. – Ryan Muldoon