DevinDoesAReview: "Tekkno" by Electric Callboy
Listening to Electric Callboy is a lot like listening to Steel Panther. You are either immediately in on the joke, or you fucking hate them. There is absolutely no in between. And I'm gonna be upfront before we even get into the meat of the review, that I think that this is easily the best album that these guys have ever released. I was very much not a fan of anything they released prior to this, with the exception of their smash 2020 single "Hypa Hypa", and to see them continue with that particular sound is a very nice change of pace.
These guys really cut their teeth in the early 10's, in what I call the "Cringe Core" era of metal. I'm talking the Hot Topic, Asking Alexandria, synchronized headbanging era. They made that same type of terrible electronicore as their peers, but ten times less serious thematically, and a thousand times more German. It was the dark ages. The spooky times. The precipice of disaster....
...A really shitty time for music, is what I'm saying...
So when they announced this new album here I was very skeptical, to say the least. But being the masochist I am, I knew...I just fucking knew I was gonna have to give this a shot. And when it came time to give it a go, I was very pleased. Shocked even! This is really a brand new band, but with that same goofy sense of humor that got them recognized in the first place. Was this a fun listen? Yes. Is it good? Well...lets talk about it.
Album opens very strongly with the song "Pump It". Combining a crunchy, driving riff and an insanely catchy chorus, this song really captures the feeling of getting ripped at the gym. This song went straight to my workout playlist, and I know all the meatheads (natural bodies or synthetic, I don't judge) are gonna love this one. Following that is the lead single from the record, "We Got the Moves". A song all about the cool vibes that come from summertime partying! This is a perfect combo of eurotrash electronic music, and gnarly riffage. And the breakdown at the end? Bonkers. Killer tune all around.
The song "Fuccboi", featuring Conquer Divide vocalist Kia Castillo, is basically a pop punk song. Which hilariously enough, is a very fuck boy genre. Smart. The song itself is ok, with minimal harsh vocals, and a pretty tame song structure. The guest vocals fit really well, and really stand out. The next track, "Spaceman", features German rapper Finch, who really takes up most of the vocal space on the song. You really only hear EC on the hook. But to be honest, I think this song is fucking perfect. This song had a borderline Rammstein riff, with a serious fist pumping beat behind it that really makes this a chefs kiss of a track.
"Mindreader" is the next song, and its also the first song that wasn't already a single. This song really feels like it was ripped right out of Asking Alexandrias discography in like 2013. And while I loved how the harsh vocals sounded, I absolutely hated the cleans. I dunno if it was just mixed weird, but oof, I was not a fan. Luckily, the song is helped by a very heavy ending segment. Another song I had issues with was the song "Arrow of Love". While it has some funny lyrics (I give you love/Shoot it right into your face, my love), it uses so much vocal processing and autotune it just feels overbearing.
But we do get back on track with the song "Parasite", which is just a really fucking cool song. This song could've fit in ANY of the nightclub scenes in The Matrix, and the breakdown is exceptional. I'm shocked that this wasn't a single, its so good. But then we get to the title track "Tekkno Train" and we're off the damn track again! Bro, this might be the dumbest song I've ever heard, and I say that as a Bloodhound Gang fan. Like, these lyrics (Shaky shaky sweaty sweaty/You make my spaghetti ready/Heat up the sauce it's a dinner for one) took years off my life...
"Hurrikan" saved it for me though, and this might be my favorite song on the record. Coming in at under two minutes, it has one of the best "bait-and-switches" I've heard in ages. Starts off as this 80's euro pop song that takes the hardest of left turns into this deathcore rager. Killer performances on the vocals, and the band in general. The album closer, titled "Neon", is surprisingly heartfelt. It is very genuine in its performance, its lyrics, and its tone. Sporting a really big and spacious instrumental, it really ends the record on a very thankful note. As if the band is thanking you for taking this journey along with them. It is very nice.
This is a very fun album that I really think marks a reset for the band, but it has enough low points that I think hold it back from being something truly impressive.