Album Review: Electric Wire Hustle – Electric Wire Hustle

Electric Wire Hustle – Electric Wire Hustle
BBE Records: 2010

Do you think for yourself? Are you strong and opinionated? Do you challenge my mind? These are all questions posed by the eclectic threesome Electric Wire Hustle on its self-titled album’s opening track “Water”. It’s obvious that this is not the typical r&b album. We, the listeners, are not destined to be subjected to over-produced, mindless sexcapades into “music.” No, Electric Wire Hustle has something special and organic – something that has yet to be perverted by the demands of big label suits.

Sounding like some long-forgotten cousin of the Soulquarian family, Electric Wire Hustle is full of more funky soul goodness than nearly all of its contemporaries. This grows evident as the back-to-back tracks “Gimme That Kinda” and “Perception” actually sound like outtakes from Voodoo, right down to the curt trumpets and layered vocal harmonies complete with cooing background falsetto.

The body of the album doesn’t let up either. Appearances from Steve Spacek, Stacy Epps, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime all prove that Electric Wire Hustle has entered rarefied air, but rest assured, this is not one of those albums that relies on guests. Lead singer Mara TK has an unnatural ability to outfit each track with vocals that bubble with passion. Even among the critical darlings mentioned above, TK more than holds his own, many times rendering the guest performances nearly forgettable (and that’s not a knock on the other singers by any means).

The always-funky Declaime is actually well atop his game on “Jupiter”, however his track does adopt a slightly harder stance – a definitive shift from the easy flow of the rest of the album. It is in no way a bad track, it is simply out of place here. However, that’s a small complaint on an album that boasts standout tracks such as “Again” and the lead single “They Don’t Want”.

Though it is not entirely without its flaws, Electric Wire Hustle is a creation of purity and beauty. Not only is the musical precision impressive, but the content is smart and thought-provoking. And that combination of intellectual creativity and smooth sonics is enough to melt headphones. Apparently these New Zealand boys are onto something.

4.5 out of 5
[audio:|titles=They Don’t Want]

14 thoughts on “Album Review: Electric Wire Hustle – Electric Wire Hustle

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  1. Johnnytruent|

    Forget about copper wires and internal plumbing issues….this album is smoother than peanut butter

  2. I find listening to this music a bit more relaxing.
    Nothing really beats the classics!

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  4. JustPlans – We will certainly look into that.

  5. any chance potholes could feature the US-only tracks for us who didn’t get the chance to hear them? pretty please

  6. The US version added my favorite songs, “Longtime” and “Experience”. Although they deaded the Declaime track and “Perception”. Still haven’t heard those two.

  7. I didn’t know they put this album out on their own, this same time last year. BBE picked it up to re-release it for them. That’s awesome, you rarely see people persist with an album anymore.

  8. Everyone’s pretty much right. This shit is just too good.

  9. I’m really blown away how incredible this album is for a debut LP. The production is so good I could just bump the instrumentals. I agree with your review. The Declaime feature is the only track that seems somewhat out of place. But past that, how incredible are “Waters”, “Perception” & “Chasers”. A definite case could be made 5/5 on this album. I gotta say the non-hip-hop albums are owning 2010.

    I’m pretty certain we’ll be discussing this album for the PIMB end of the year picks.

    Good review Zach.

  10. I agree with this review and this album’s dope to me as well. I’ve got my favorites but the whole thing stays running when I play it. Wouldn’t have known about it if I didn’t see this post, thanks!

  11. I gotta agree with JustPlans – this album is pretty much 5/5 for me. And for a debut, it’s near perfect.

  12. “Perception” never gets old.

  13. Man I’d have downright given this a 5/5, finally an album this year you can bump from start to finish

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