Electric Guitars ‎– Jolts

Bristol Archive Records ‎– ARC026
File, MP3, Album


1 Eternal Youth
2 Genghis Khan
3 Cloud 9
4 Voice Of Sound
5 Scrap That Car
6 Stamp Out The Termites
7 Start Up The New Life
8 Food
9 Ja Ja Lunar Commander
10 Interference
11 Fat Man
12 Language Parties
13 Don't Wake The Baby



Many times since the Electric Guitars disbanded in 1983, I've heard hints of their sound in popular music or caught an unkempt coiffure or a substitute for an instrument, that's reminded me of them.

I always thought that when the time was right, when the 80's became revered, when my children turned out to be musicians, I'd give them the EG's back catalogue and say 're-release this lot'.

Well, the time is now, 1980's retro is getting respect and my kids aren't musicians. So here are the originals, served fresh and raw exploring 'sound with relentless energy'.

The sound is unmistakeably 80's. 'Genghis Khan' starts a bit Talking Heads, (the only acceptable comparison at the time) and to the uninitiated might sound like they borrowed a bit of Madness. But it wasn't like that, the EG's were experimental, access to other peoples music was much slower, you had to wait for music to be released, they were innovators not followers. 'Scrap that Car' this was 25 years ago!

And their hair was simply unbrushed, gel wasn't invented then either.

I panicked when I heard 'Eternal Youth' again, Is Neil out of tune? There are some uncomfortable harmonies too, but that's because we've become sanitised to expect the perfect 'Pop Idol' sound, Dick's fantastic keyboard intro to 'Voice of sound' still sends shivers down my spine and any discord was bent back into shape by Wendy and Sarah on backing vocals and Andy who at times becomes virtually operatic. 'The Electric Guitars explore sound with relentless energy. One minute they are a boy's choir and the next hungry wolves'. NME 1983

All these tunes were written, devised, reworked, argued and thrashed out in the basement of a terraced house in Bristol. Full band rehearsals, everything. So to everyone in Lansdowne Road, Redland circa 79-83, they're very sorry.

The EG's were always best live because they were having so much fun, and it was dance music, If only the video existed.

So the best way to listen to Jolts is with your wireless headphones on, and if you remember because you were there, you can shut your eyes and you can see them:- Neil's manic twitching, sweat pouring down his face, Richard posing, pouting, eyebrow cocked and Matt standing on his stool, glint in eye swiping bottles, cans and the occasional drum. 'Essential viewing'- Sounds, 1983

'Don't Wake The Baby' however could be from any time and therein lies the genius. If only we'd known then what we know now, if only there had been My Space, why aren't my kids musicians? if only...

Gill Loats