Local band Electric Touch stays true to their name. Influenced by the punk rock sounds of The Clash and The Ramones, the group’s upbeat and energetic sound electrifies listeners with a musical shock. Never Look Back, the group’s latest release, hopes to keep fans charged and energized with their alternative rock anthems.
At the root of most Electric Touch releases is the group’s knack for writing pop-punk songs. There’s a rawness to each song that pays homage to the late ’70s/early ’80s punk rock scene that bore them, while incorporating a pop structure that showcases the band’s love for a good old pop tune.
“Beautiful Mess” is an example of this: guitars buzz with a slight distortion as frontman Shane Lawlor sings about a relationship that has taken a turn for the worse. “Can’t you see I’m falling / I’m falling into a beautiful mess,” Lawlor sang. Like pop godfathers The Beatles, Electric Touch is straightforward and to the point, their music is an accompaniment to the stories that vocalist Lawlor weaves.
“Human Factor” kicks into high gear with battling guitars that provide a catchy and memorable riff. Drummer Louis Messina goes for simplicity in this song, emphasizing the guitar part of his sibling, Christopher Leigh.
Electric Touch gained a following because of how well they presented themselves on their debut album, Dig. It proved to listeners that the group could write catchy songs reminiscent of The Verve and Oasis. Where Dig was more piano-based and somber, Electric Touch’s latest release amplifies the group’s energy, relying more on a big, guitar-filled atmosphere.
This new direction sometimes comes off like a The Strokes knockoff. “Don’t Stop” and “I Can’t Wait” sound like they could have been on old Strokes demos; even Lawlor seems to emulate Strokes vocalist Julian Casablancas on the tracks. The band tries too hard, creating something that comes off as ingenuine and stale.
Electric Touch still has time for growth; the challenge in their progression will be if the group can separate themselves from their contemporaries, or become a second-rate Strokes band for the masses.