Hailing from a state that is known for producing musical legends, The Battery Electric, a rock band from Asbury Park, New Jersey, are making their name known. Having already played shows at popular music festivals, such as CMJ and SXSW, their exposure has garnered fans that far surpass the state line. Now, with the release of the band’s latest album, The Heart And The Thrill, the foursome convey an edgier take classic rock, with punk influences that are bound to secure them a larger audience than they have ever had before.
The record, produced by Pete Steinkopf of another native New Jersey band, The Bouncing Souls, marks The Battery Electric’s first release in two years. Despite the brief recess, the album’s contents make it more than worth the wait. Though the sound is similar to their 2013 debut LP, Weaving Spiders, the quartet has continued to grow lyrically and musically, delivering fervent lyrics, compelling guitar riffs, and an all around more cohesive sound.
Rather than a disjointed set of music, each song is unified and flows into one another with a tonality surrounding upon a mix of punk rock and soul. These punk influences are strongest in the title-track, “The Heart And The Thrill.” With its repetitive lyrics and raw vocals, the tune is evocative of a combination of punk legends. The best way to describe it is as what one might imagine it would sound like if the Ramones collaborated with early Green Day.
In contrast to their more abrasive anthems, the band’s song “Lauren” begins with a soft tone reminiscent of a power ballad. This continues to build throughout the intro, until it shifts into a full-blown rock song as the electric guitar kicks in. Soon after, the crooning vocals give way to a heavier timbre as they lead into the first verse. The distinctive shift in sound correlates to the shift in emotion as the lyrics continue, “What can I say to make you feel alive?/All I want’s the truth but all you give are lies,” driving home a universal feeling of melancholy and heartbreak.
The Battery Electric’s ability to follow up their first album with one that exercises musical growth most bands do not obtain in their succeeding record, is something to applaud. And if The Heart And The Thrill is any inclination of what else they have to offer, they just might become another New Jersey success story.