I’ve listened to Electric Wheels of Confusion’s latest EP, Rockface, a few times now and what I have to say is this: Mission accomplished. Why? Because, well, I am very confused. They’ve given themselves a name which suggests a 70s style prog band, which they are definitely not. In addition, their EP has a name which leads one to expect a collection of straight forward headbangers. Again, not so much.
Musically, the EP is like all of the weirdest parts of Faith No More, Alice In Chains, and Metallica stapled together. While there are some really solid moments throughout, the album lacks a sense of direction. The band’s bandcamp page declares, “Here be riffs ‘n’ jams,” and it really is just that…riffs and jams thrown together that don’t sound like cohesive songs. The opening track, “Babysteps to Hell”, is particularly jumbled. Though it does feature a solid bass solo during the outro, the ride up to that point is rather bumpy.
Thankfully, the monolithic second track, “Cobra”, indicates that there is hope for this band yet. A soaring AIC-style chorus is showcased in the middle of riffs, so chewy you can feel them between your teeth as you headbang along. “Blades of Steel” also isn’t bad, but I feel it could have been longer; just as you’re really starting to enjoy its speedy pummel, the two minutes and forty seconds are over and in comes the next track. “Hola, Rollers!”, is the song that most closely matches what the EP’s title, Rockface, wanted to deliver, but it is also the least impressionable track on the record.
When you have a knack for writing heavy riffs, it can be very tempting to just stick four or five of them together and call it a metal song, but the result isn’t ever memorable for anyone other than the musicians. Hopefully in the future the band can pull it together and release a more cohesive set of songs. For now, though, it seems like ECW either don’t know where they want to situate themselves in the music industry or they don’t care. If they really don’t care, they’ve put a lot of effort into projecting those feelings outward.
Written by Syd Ghan