Updated: Jan 29
4.5 out of 5 Pure Rock Stars
I was excited when this one came across my desk. Like many who know Stockholm, Sweden rockers ELECTRIC BOYS, it's hard not to be a fan of the band. I first came across the band's music with their 1990 release 'Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride,' like many of those reading this I am sure. I have faithfully followed the band and their recordings through until now. Each record a quality rock n' roll statement, mixed with their signature tinge of funky blues. Their 2011 album 'And Them Boys Done Swang' was probably one of my favs for that year, as I wore it out. When I heard that Electric Boys were signed to Mighty Music and they would be putting an album out in 2018, I was very excited. They did make me wait until almost the end of the year, with the release date slated for November 23rd, 2018, but the wait is well worth it, in my opinion.
So we got the obvious out of the way, that I am a fan of the band and this may be a bit biased, but I don't care. To me, great music stands on it's own, and that is exactly what this is for me.
The lead guitars from Franco Santunione tell a story of their own in this one. Full of feeling and bluesy rock angst, even without the emotion-filled vocals from frontman Conny Bloom. A very rare thing these days! Electric Boys are comprised of all-original members Conny Bloom Vocals and Guitar, Andy Christell on Bass, Franco Santunione lead guitar, and Niclas Sigevall on drums. The band is joined by new drummer Jolle Atlagic (Hanoi Rocks) who shares recording and touring duties with Niclas.
There's something for every Hard Rock fan here. 'The Ghost Ward Diaries' are a collection of songs that bring me back to a day where the album was king. We live in a time of "Singles" and "Streams" but those of us (and I am dating myself here) who enjoy a good record from front to back, will love this one. It's obvious Electric Boys put a lot of time and effort in on this record. The musicianship is tight, and the vocals are clean, with a whisky gravel to them, that makes Electric Boys one of the originals.
'The Ghost Ward Diaries' features 10 tracks. My favorites are "There She Goes Again," "Gone Gone Gone," "Rich Man, Poor Man," and "Knocked Out By Tyson." The album starts out with radio friendly party anthem "Hangover In Hanover" (see video below) followed by a 1970's throwback rocker with a hint of British invasion pop, in melodic track "There She Goes Again." The third track "You Spark My Heart" is a ballad, sure to draw in the ladies with its heart soaked message about love and love lost. Their fourth track "Love Is A Funny Feeling" is a bluesy rocker, straight out of a 70's soundtrack and probably what Electric Boys are best known for. It's Funky and reminiscent of their 1990 hit "All Lips N' Hips" (originally released in 1988) from their debut 'Funk-o-Metal Carpet Ride' (1990). As we hit the midway of 'The Ghost Ward Diaries' we land on mid-tempo ballad "Gone Gone Gone," about death and remembrance I assume, with chorus lyrics "gone gone gone but not forgotten, drivin' with the angels at the great big in the sky" it's hard not to think this song means alot to the band. The sole instrumental "Swampmotofrog" is a revved up rocker and shows off the band's musicianship once again here. Track seven "First The Money, Then The Honey" is a funny rocker that's reminiscent of the 1980's sex, drugs and rock 'n rollers of the arena rock bands and MTV era. "Rich Man, Poor Man" is a full on blues rocker, complete with slide guitar. For fans of Cinderella's 'Heartbreak Station' or Aerosmith, which the chorus reminds me of a lot. "Knocked Out By Tyson" wins the catchy title award on this album, and easily my personal favorite on 'The Ghost Ward Diaries.' A fun radio-friendly rocker with a super catchy chorus. Reminds me of their tune "Psychedelic Eyes" or "Knowhere To Go But Up" from 'And Them Boys Done Swang.' Closing track "One Of The Fallen Angels" is a longer track at over six minutes, with a few different sections. From fun to almost eerie at the end, with the devilish outro complete with an evil laugh to end. A straight on rock tune and walk down 1970's memory lane to be sure.
Overall 'The Ghost Ward Diaries' are a stellar collection of songs and go together as a package or one by one. Funky, revved to the max, blues soaked rockers, mixed with heartfelt ballads. The lyrics are definitely on the dark side for a lot of this record, but it's hard not to enjoy the trademark funky-blues rock of Electric Boys! Gotta rate this one a fully biased 4.5 out of 5. Go out and pick it up or stream the entire thing wherever you like to stream, and decide for yourselves. You won't be disappointed.
ELECTRIC BOYS first single/video "Hangover In Hanover" from 'The Ghost Ward Diaries':
Favorites: -There She Goes Again -Gone Gone Gone -Rich Man, Poor Man -Knocked Out By Tyson
ELECTRIC BOYS are: Conny Bloom (Vocals/Guitar) Franco Santunione (Guitars) Andy Christell (Bass) Niclas Sigevall & Jolle Atlagic (Drums)
Studio Discography: Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride (1989) Groovus Maximus (1992) Freewheelin (1994) And Them Boys Done Swang (2011) Starflight United (2014) The Ghost Ward Diaries (2018) - Release date 11/23/2018
Reviewed by Rich Embury (Pure Rock Radio)