Editor's Note: We know this has been out for ages, but Gammon Records never actually sent us a copy to review. However, as we've got a Mooney Suzuki interview planned for later this year, we wanted to get a review into the archives. Besides, it's a good record.
It is one of life's enduring mysteries why record industry execs in fancy Italian suits are running around the globe looking for the next mega-garage band hit. Australia? Sweden? That's heavy airfare. Why not take a subway down to see The Mooney Suzuki, whose ass-kicking Electric Sweat is truly one of the records of the year?
The Mooney Suzuki has vastly opened up their sound since 1999's People Get Ready, incorporating balls-out instrumental jams ("Electrocuted Blues", "It's Showtime, Part II"), handclap-studded love songs ("Oh Sweet Susannah") and a 12/8 ballad that splits the difference between Otis Redding and Elvis ("The Broken Heart"). They kick off with the killer-riffed title track and blast through all the shades of blues-oriented rock. Every cut is a winner in its own way, from the raw energy of "In a Young Man's Mind" to the Zombies-flavored "A Little Bit of Love", to the Hammond-fueled, '70s-soul stylings of "Showtime Part II". Producer Jim Diamond has distilled the manic energy of one of the world's greatest live bands in Electric Sweat, and if the result is not letter-perfect, it is raw and true and powerful.
The knock on The Mooney Suzuki is that they're not original enough, but really, who the hell is? Electric Sweat is true gospel from the fundamentalist wing of the rock and roll church, and it will set your soul on fire.