Electric Poem - "The Crystal Mind"
(Genterine Records 2000/2004, CPR-1050)
From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)
Originally formed in Atlanta in the early 90's by vocalist Thomas Luke and bassist Wade Summerlin, Electric Poem play an accessible brand of hard rock psych-prog-pop songs. The band apparently had a decent following and nearly scored a deal with Polygram Records, but disbanded before their first album could be completed. After a period of inactivity the band reformed in 1997 with Luke and Summerlin, along with new members Holly Williams on guitar, Soumen Talukder on drums and Brandi Byrum on keyboards. Those names sound familiar? This is essentially progressive rockers Cobweb Strange plus Luke, who is the principle songwriter and composer.
The Crystal Mind was originally released in 2000 and a second pressing released this year. The band rocks hard and the songs are well composed, with an excellent blend of psychedelic influenced hard rock and progressive influenced power-pop. Songs like "Trouble With Troubadours", "Sexual Crime", "On The Moon" and "Wanna Fly" demonstrate Electric Poem's aptitude for solid hard rock psych-pop songs. "Easy" is a strong track that leans more toward song oriented hard rock with some cool wah guitar embellishments. Things really start to smoke with "On With The Show", a kick ass heavy psych rocker with killer guitar and a rockin' jam section. Very cool. "Love Cemetery" is one of my favorite tracks. After a trippy cosmic intro the band launch into an excellent prog-psych hard rock song with flowing keys that provide a spacey backdrop to the guitar driven rock and dark gothic edge. Definitely a highlight of the set. "What Dreams May Come" is one of the more purely rock ‘n roll songs of the set, but includes a gothic keyboard backdrop and cool rockin' guitar solo. "Poet's Rage" is another standout track, recalling memories of the early 70's with luscious Bluesy psych and down ‘n dirty hard rock. I really dig this song. Ditto for "Emotion", which has a chest pounding beat, heavy prog keys and guitar, and a driving hard rock pulse. Good album. Also check out the Cobweb Strange reviews in AI #23.
For more information you can visit the Electric Poem web site at: http://www.electricpoem.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail c/o Electric Poem; PO Box 191035; Atlanta, GA 31119.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz