Rectifier – Electrical Language EP

The simultaneously good and bad thing about an EP is that you do not have to invest so much time in production; something which is quite visible here. Mind you not in a particularly bad way, in many cases you will find that this can actually make a band – especially in musical realms like those of rock, punk or metal, it makes the band sound more honest, raw, and very importantly for most fans: DIY. In the case of local rockers Rectifier, no intro, straight into the nitty-gritty; the first track is a light one though its intro heralds something much heavier and the rest of the EP follows in the same line, deceiving and maybe even so far as disappointing. Some of the ideas are quite nice but the execution leaves to be desired. This could be blamed on the fact that the band is local and obviously just starting with merely 71 likes on Facebook, or is it? According to their page they started around October 2011.

Let us begin with the visuals of their Bandcamp site. These look somewhere between industrial signage and cyber-punk nineties pseudo-modern logos. The only things I could think of when I saw the heads with what appeared to be sound waves, no doubt intended to represent electronic frequencies judging by their logo – was Talking Heads mixed with Scanners and Total Recall. I am not sure that you will be seeing this Richter at the party though. Whilst it is obvious that their influences lie in seventies rock somewhere between Motorhead, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin with some chugging riffs and some Lemmy-esque vocals, the issue with these is, the form. To be honest, without sweeping about it, this band definitely needs work if it wants to improve its ratings on Facebook, or Bandcamp or anywhere and the production and post-production need revision.

The vocals are lacking, though the guitars also could have been more exact or “tight” in jargon. There are always up-and-coming bands and whilst this one does not benefit from the execution or the –shall we say – originality of its genre, the compositional ideas are decent and just need refinement. The real problem is that the whole thing feels fake as if the members had thought: “Hey, I know what’s successful, let’s make 70s rock, and I’ll copy Lemmy and you guys play riffs like AC/DC!” It needs more heart in it, passionate signing because it currently seems nonchalant, indolent and put on. One misses the atmosphere otherwise created by a strong vocal presence and instrumental precision to melt into to the mood of the music that artists usually attempt to create. This EP is somewhat of a soapbox derby car who wanted to be a F1.

The record might be worth your attention if you are eager to become acquainted with Oxford’s metal underground, but these boys would not be the first recommendation, nor are they very characteristic of the metal scene of this city. They definitely need some time to mature and perfect their craft. They do not deserve to be labelled just yet, but your best option would be to get back to them in a few years’ time, to see what they are up to then.

Released 15th April 2012