Even from their pre gig sound check, Electroshock Therapy cause a stir in the lounge room of The Freebird in Newcastle, with one man going to the bar and asking what time the band are on and if he needs to pay to go across the other room where the creative, free spirited four-piece will be playing. Upon opening the set, Electroshock Therapy immediately show the crowd just how much effort has gone into their self-titled debut EP. Tonight is the launch gig for the EP, with the band showcasing five truly inventive songs, each of which set them apart from pretty much every other band in the local area.
Electroshock Therapy have all the necessary ingredients to make it on a national level: they are not afraid to experiment with music, they have an actual band image and look the part, and they have ambition, but not blind ambition, they know they are improving with every song they write. They even have good artwork, for heavens sake. One look at the sleeve of the EP and right away you know you want to hear the music hidden inside.
After opening the set at The Freebird with a song so new they are yet to name it, the boys then proceed to play their first track from the EP, Mushroom Dream. This song is so naturally trippy you could close your eyes and open them to find yourself in the 60’s. Tom Lockett finds himself producing a vocal range that is both cool and soft at the same time, but playing guitar and singing is clearly not enough for experimental Tom, who, whilst playing guitar, uses the neck of his instrument to produce crazily psychedelic sounds from his Theremin. Even a certain photographer had to stop and watch in awe the brilliance he was witnessing.
Electroshock then sweep into their third song of the night and second song from the EP, Occupy, which is an instant fun and memorable tune. Tom Lockett, in an interview a few days before tonight’s gig, stated that the band are nowhere near their best, and that this debut EP is most definitely just the start of big things. If that statement is true, then it may be quite scary to think just how good they are going to get if Occupy and finale track of the EP So Fine are anything to go by. Nick Simpson lets himself go for the guitar solo of Occupy, giving suggestion that he may just be the most creative lead guitarist of any local band at the current time. This may be in part thanks to the bands style and the bands willingness to lead Nick off his leash to enable him to really stamp his mark on the sound of Electroshock Therapy. Even the bass riff is perfectly trippy and catchy, with Dan Thorley playing riffs at with great ability and refusing to stick to root notes for any part of the song.
So Fine explodes into life straight away with it’s simple but extremely effective chord progression and guitar riff. And with great use of the Theremin, the song is given a lease of life at every breakdown point. Electroshock Therapy have intelligently created this EP, putting a lot of time and effort into the arrangements of each song without losing sight of the unique sound they want to reach.
Next up at The Freebird is another new song which is as yet untitled, but which nonetheless goes down a treat with the crowd, who by now are beginning to talk amongst themselves about how impressed they are by this four piece band. Psychadelicacy, possibly the coolest song from the EP, was also well received by the crowd, who could now sense that this band have something different, is full of entrancing bass riffs and drum beats, with guitar play from Nick Simpson which could quite easily become a trademark sound for the band. Watching him zone out to each song is clear proof of just how much Nick loves playing in this band, with his movements being so in sync with what he is playing you could be forgiven that he is producing the sounds with his glide.
Electroshock Therapy then head into their last song of the night, which is the opening track from the EP. Hey Little Girl opens with another immediately catchy riff from guitarist Nick Simpson, and flows into a somehow off-beat drum rhythm which seems perfectly on-beat. The song is a simple blues pattern, but the style in which they portray Hey Little Girl is astonishingly fresh, with a groove to it which has Electroshock Therapy written all over it. This band must put an awful lot of effort into the writing of their material to make it seem so seamless on stage, with each song rammed with trippy lyrics, awesome guitar licks and a great partnership between Tom on drums and Dan on bass. Throw into the mix outstanding use of a Theremin from Tom Lockett and Electroshock Therapy are becoming the beacon of hope for fresh new music in Stoke-on-Trent.