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Electric Touch: Electric Touch

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Fresh out of Austin, this Texas band with an English singer creates a sound one part guitar-driven pop riffs and one part Limey swing, with gusts of pop wail and genteel sleaze. Overall, it sounds like a studio experiment in which a mad engineer tossed The Darkness, Spoon, Thin Lizzy and a dollop of Double Trouble into a big-ass blender and hit frappe. Musically, the men of Electric Touch know their stuff; there aren't any wild solos or Jimmy Page-style jams, just a combo of dudes who've played together for a while and understand their sound. The flamboyance and individual touches all come from Nottingham-born Shane Lawlor, who wears his sonic influences on his sleeve and puts his voice through some interesting permutations. Channeling a bit of T. Rex, Lawlor and the rest start the self-titled disc with a buzzing riff and lots of energy with "Love In Our Hearts," a made-for-radio single that manages to find a ballad tone without sacrificing a little thump. The album doesn't have any obvious weak spots, although many of the songs start to resemble each other if you listen to the whole album at once, but standouts include "Saved," a piano-driven slow piece that shows Lawlor in fine form, and the closer "Who Put The Fire Out?," which rocks the house like Thin Lizzy never went away. If you're digging a change of pace in your rock, file Electric Touch under Reese's in your library; like chocolate and peanut butter, it turns out that Texas rock and Britpop actually do go well together.

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