There’s few things better than a blast of good old hard rock from bands that smash out awesome guitar riffs, and that’s exactly what we get from West Midlands-based rockers ELECTUS. The band has been around as a concept for a while but, with a new lineup in place, they’re ready to hit new heights with their classic hard rock sound.
The ELECTUS story initially began with lead vocalist Russell Peake touring the UK doing acoustic shows between 2003 and 2011. Russell told us: “I had some great feedback to the point where I was inspired to ‘plug in’ if you will, back into the Marshall amps and do the band, tour, record cycle again. I was in many bands during the 80s and 90s but was too young and without focus for it to come to anything, so a little older and wiser it felt right to climb the next set of mountains and so in 2012 ELECTUS was born.
“We’ve had various lineup changes to get where we are today, mainly because of no ill will, but sometimes other members have their own mountains to climb, which is totally understandable. A band can only succeed if there is focus from every team member, so that’s the band philosophy if you will: if you’re in, do your thing.”
So what makes the new lineup – which is completed by lead guitarist Pete Checkley, bassist Dan Smith, and drummer Mick Hales – different to previous iterations? Russell told us: “Personally I don’t compare past to present, there are subtle differences in how musicians play for sure, but we are a hard rock band so the foundations in songwriting is fixed. But i would say the band in the current form is more emotionally stable.”
With that stability in place ELECTUS have just released their second album, Rock’n’Roll Incarnate Part One, from which their first single is the excellent Ticket to Nowhere.
There’s more than a little Black Sabbath sound to the track, mainly from Russell’s vocals, through the palm-muted guitar and light drums supported verses. It begins with a few little drum rolls, bursts of guitar chord and a cowbell then launches into a rolling guitar riff that almost siren-like synthy noise in the background. Russell’s vocals enter at the verse, then there’s a key change as we jump into a singalong chorus with the fun lyrics of “pick up the phone dial crazy, I want a ticket to nowhere baby.”
It drops down into another verse and chorus repeat, which is followed by a big fast-paced, high-pitched guitar solo which concludes with several repeats of a riff, then all the instruments drop out for an effect-infused vocal interlude before diving into one final rendition of the chorus.
If you fancy a dose of good old hard rock meets rock’n’roll that’s big on rocking guitar riffs, blistering solos and enjoyable rock/metal vocals then ELECTUS are certainly the band for you on this evidence.
Check out the video for Ticket to Nowhere below:
Russell told us: “When I started ELECTUS my vision was to play hard rock the way I like to rock out, with a little tongue in cheek approach. Imagine all the great rock / metal albums of the 70s, 80s, 90s, its those high moments I write about. So classic hard rock, with the freedom to go wherever musically. I have nothing to prove, only to myself that I can do it and I cordially invite you to come along and have a blast with us.”
When it comes to writing music, Russell’s influences are many and varied – to the point that it’s almost non-stop. He tells us his biggest initial musical influence was KISS as a child back in the early 80s: “I almost bought a Billy Joel album, whom I also think is a fantastic artist by the way, but I decided to buy the New KISS album Creatures of the Night, which changed the course of music for me.” but he’s also been inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Megadeth and Opeth through to ABBA, The Beatles and Ludovico Einaudi.
He told us: “If it pleases my hearing, I’ll get it and I’m inspired to write all the time – at my desk, on the sofa at home, or while I’m shopping, I’ll always have my voice recorder handy on my phone. Then when I’m ready I’ll make a rough demo for the band to hear, then they have their contributions to make, we will rehearse the songs hard, then go into the studio to record. At that time I’ll take a copy of what we have, then add the lyrics before final mixing. I write songs based around observations in life, mostly around relationships, good and bad ones.”
If you like what you hear then you can see ELECTUS on tour across the UK this year promoting their new album. More details on their live show dates is here. They also have plenty more in the pot for another album either later this year or early next year and Russell has aspirations to take the band beyond the borders of the UK.