Electric Doormat sound like what Nine Inch Nails would’ve been if they were fronted by one of the guys from They Might Be Giants. As bizarre as that may seem, the comparison becomes disturbingly clear on “Can of Bird,” with its goofball lyrics and jolly accordion.
Frontman Ben Spees has a boyish, almost ’80s New Wave (think Mitch Easter from Let’s Active) innocent voice that is in direct contrast to the harsh guitar riffs and explosive electronics that provide the backbone for this somewhat unusual — and definitely unpredictable — band. But it works because the differences provide tension in the songs.
“A Matter Of In Fact” is packed with guitar distortion and electronic fuzz; the music rocks hard enough to satisfy any metalhead but Spees’ emotional and melodic vocal work gives it an odd prettiness. It’s certainly welcome and breaks away from cliché. Normally when you hear music like this you expect the Cookie Monster to be growling over the groove. “Small” is more low-key, closer to the lo-fi synth-pop of the Postal Service, while “Short Sharp Stabules” and the title track bring back the aggro in even meaner and better ways.
Electric Doormat experiments with pop as well on “Symmetry” and “Sword of Damocles,” both of which are damn catchy.
Electric Doormat: www.electricdoormat.com