Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band – The Red Day Album (2014)

A band I have heard of, but never actually heard until now, Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band attained a good amount of recognition in their home state of Louisiana during the 1960s. June 1967 was the date the group put together a full-length longplayer, but the sessions remained in the can. Better late than never, as they say, and decades on, The Red Day Album (Gear Fab Records) has risen from the dead.

Plastered with plucky and polished choruses, circled by experimental detours, The Red Day Album proves to be an ambitious and challenging affair. The influence of the Beatles, the Kinks, the Zombies, and the Monkees can’t be denied, but all songs on the disc are original and sail beyond mere parroting. In fact, some of the expressions presented here are so peculiar that, if you didn’t already know, it would be impossible to tell exactly when the album was recorded. Not only did Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band think and work outside the box, but they also transported into the future, as images and impressions of acts like Genesis, Queen, and Jellyfish haunt the soundscape.

A fondness for mixing vaudeville, cabaret styled moves, and dance hall music with modern maneuvers frequents much of the material featured on The Red Day Album. Frisky, cheeky, and instantly catchy tunes such as “Send Me Your Picture,” “Champion,” and “I’ll Join The Army” especially fit in this curious category.

Dreamy and peaceful, “Breathe” floats upon a calm sea of mind-bending raga rock riffs, “Concord World” twirls around and around with coiling power chords, and “Red Day” is a glimmering gem of pure pop persuasions. Rife with jammy acid-washed guitars and spacey sensations, “Hope” trembles with adventurous instrumental kicks, and the urgent aggression of “Have You Been To The Light” yields a bit of a bluesy edge.

Shaped of unusual hooks, melodies and arrangements, The Red Day Album makes for a very fine psychedelic pop experience. Not bound by rules, Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band aimed to craft a piece of music pairing conventional ideas with freaky insights, and if you ask me they succeeded in doing so.

Although Thomas Edisun’s Electric Light Bulb Band soon disappeared from the scene, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Richard Orange stayed in the biz, penning songs for Cyndi Lauper, Starship, Jane Wiedlin from the Go Go’s, Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons, and Brazilian pop star Deborah Blando. Richard’s most recent effort is a solo album, Big Orange Sun, and was mixed and recorded at the legendary Sun studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

     

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" hit No. 4 on the national charts, which is ironically, one of her favorite songs - especially the version by John Lennon. She has contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Her own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.