It’s been ages since pop has been simply groovy. Perhaps it’s been since the early 80s, at the dawn of electronic music and mainstream rock coming together courtesy of Kraftwerk, Falco, M and Devo. The LA-based duo known as Electrocute (featuring Nicole Morier on guitars, vocals and beats and Aussie Legs Le Brock on bass, vocals and beats) has made a splash on the dance and electronic-pop scenes, recently scoring themselves a spot on the 21 soundtrack with a jazzy and strangely sensual strut jam, “Mad Pursuit”. In the process, they’ve displayed the clued-in attitude necessary to carry happily mindless dance harmonies that their more well-known contemporaries fail to grasp acceptably.
Devoid of the extracurricular guitar and synth layers of the corporeal “Mad Pursuit,” Electrocute’s grossly addictive On the Beat EP is nevertheless its own brand of hipster couture. Electrocute literally bounces through On the Beat with the excavation of vivacious beat loops, Quentin Tarantino-courting riff showdowns and an envious far-out culture clash trippiness that will make even Puffy Amiyumi jot down a few notes. Striking out the gate with the Go Go’s and Toni Basil-laden title track, Electrocute whiz-bangs through a nonsensical Generation X-inspired track that grabs with instant identification before getting outright sassy on the more contemporary dance chic of “Uh-Oh”. Such is Electrocute’s pastiche, as aided by their producer and mixer Junkie XL. These ladies (along with Bram Inscore, Barbara Gruska and other guests) are utterly savvy in weaving slick sets of grooves and beat lines, and their diversity of attacks on the songs (ranging from electro-yummy to electro-mod) adds to the EP’s flavorful surprises.
As Electrocute coos, squeals and guffaws overtop the stamping Mexican standoff that is “Bad Legs”, the sheer nonsense of it all is undermined by the cut’s badass riff splice and amped-up beat. Ditto for the space jam “Saturn Rings” that may end up featured on a late night anime festival if not a schlocky sixties send-up that Dee-Lite missed the party invite to. Making a statement in the name of dumb fun with a highly skilled mixing helmsman, On the Beat is straight-up infectious.