Electric Angels – “Electric Angels” (1990)

Electric AngelsMy older brother has a massive CD collection.  He proudly displays the collection on a large area of shelving taking up an entire wall of his den.  I would say he’s got maybe 900 or so CDs on the shelves (alphabetized, of course).  The thing is, he has about twice as many CDs tucked away somewhere out of sight — CDs that haven’t made “the wall”.  There’s only so much space on the wall you see.  So when he gets a new CD that is “wall-worthy”, that means another CD gets bumped/downgraded to storage in a closet somewhere.  Every time I go over his place I check out the wall.  As the years go by, I’ve noticed that certain CDs disappear as new ones arrive.  Only the best make the wall and it gets harder and harder to maintain a slot as his CD collection grows.  I’ve noticed over the years that Electric Angels hasn’t moved.  There it is sitting steadfast in the “E” section year after year.  It’s strange, because Electric Angels isn’t exactly considered a famous release.  My brother is not nearly the hair band fanatic I am.  He has a much broader musical palate.  That’s why I became somewhat curious as to why this lightly regarded CD has stubbornly resisted extradition.  Though I had never heard Electric Angels, I’ve always had the intention of listening to the album — eventually.  The thing is, I’ve got a lot more albums that I have been waiting to review.  Electric Angels has always been in the queue (as are all eighties hard rock/metal albums), but just not on the immediate short list.  Anyway, this Christmas my brother put his “wish list” on Amazon as he does each year at my behest.  (I don’t like being creative with my gift giving.  Tell me what you want and I’ll get it.)  Lo and behold, there’s f*cking Electric Angels on the list!  This being the Rock Candy Records “Remastered & Reloaded” collector’s edition.  Not only is Electric Angels on the wall, but now he wants a second copy?  Needless to say, when I bought my brother the CD as a gift, I added another one for myself!  Electric Angels had officially jumped the queue!

A few months later…

Based on the album cover and year of release, I was expecting something sleazy and raunchy.  At best I was thinking of something along the lines of Guns N’ Roses (based mostly on the hats they’re wearing).  At worst — Faster Pussycat.  But Electric Angels isn’t all that sleazy.  This is actually well-behaved rock with surprisingly vanilla vocals from some guy named just “Shane”.  (Interesting side note: there was another band that came out around the same time called Law And Order who also had a singer called simply “Shane”.  Different guy though.)  The production by Tom Visconti is clean and crisp which has allowed Electric Angels to withstand the test of time quite well, though I think it was a bit too polite (especially the backing vocals).  I feel like Visconti and the band failed to capture a lot of energy on the recording.  It’s a little too much “angel” and not enough “electric” if you know what I mean.  I equate this album to something akin to a sober Hanoi Rocks.  Electric Angels is a solid rock n’ roll record with some decent sing-a-long hooks — but it’s not the “sleaze rock classic” that the sticker on the Rock Candy collector’s edition claims.  If you want a lost sleaze “classic” I would try Junkyard’s Junkyard or Dirty Looks’ Turn Of The Screw.

At the end of the day is Electric Angels really “wall-worthy”?  I don’t know, that really depends on the size of your wall.  My score: B

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7 thoughts on “Electric Angels – “Electric Angels” (1990)

  1. They changed their name to The Loveless and followed it up with a brilliant power pop album called A Tale Of Gin And Salvation.

  2. Full disclosure … part of my interest in the Rock Candy re-issue was to see if the 3,500-word essay had any mention of Bruce Kulick’s former role as the band’s manager. (Also, to hear if the re-mastering made any apprecialble difference in the sound … but mostly the essay thing. I listened to this CD a lot when it came out, and was curious to learn more of its back story)

      • I’m glad we’re still on someone’s wall!! Just a minor clarification, our producer was Tony Visconti, who, in 1989 (the time of the recording) had a major list of credentials already to his name: Bowie, T.Rex. Thin Lizzy, and he had just finished The Alarm. As the 90s progressed into the 00’s, Tony would once again take up with Bowie, after a long hiatus, and record David’s final 4 albums. He just won a Grammy for ‘Blackstar’. Needless to say, we were thrilled to have him on board, and we prided ourselves on being, not just out of hairy L.A., but recent transplants to NYC, when he came on board, with our signing to Atlantic Records. We always thought of ourselves as a ‘thinking’ Hanoi Rocks (we certainly weren’t sober … our final track is ‘The Drinking Song’). All these years later, Rock Candy looked us up, re-released our CD, and we couldn’t be prouder! Bruce Kulick was never a manager. Rather, we just did our first demo with him for a week or so, and left it at that. His business with KISS kept him on the road, and we relocated from L.A. to NYC in the interim. He was a gentleman, and we’re grateful for his being onto us first. Thanks for the write-up … and the wall space! — john/drums

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