BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Rock & roll, they say, will never die – especially not the examples found in the four-chord/high energy wing of the museum. The Battery Electric certainly believes it – the Asbury Park, NJ trio’s latest slab The Heart and the Thrill never shies away from catchy chord changes, powerhouse rhythms and burning amplifiers. Riffy rampagers like “Heathen,” “Almighty Deceiver” and “Tight Lip” smack you in the face with electric excitement and controlled fury. Not to mention a sense of humor – “Ovulator” and “Key Party,” two of the back-to-back hardest rocking tracks, are also some of its tongue-in-cheek silliest. (Comparisons to the late, lamented Unband wouldn’t be out of line.)
“Does He Love You” and “Crown Royal” uncrank the energy level a bit and go for more of a power pop vibe, to surprising success. But the latter is immediately followed by the blasting, politically-charged “Snowed In” (yes, we see what you did there), just as a reminder that, while “Crown Royal” shows off what the band can do, its successor shows what it’s best at. “Darkest Days” (a title belied by the upbeat music) and “The Heart and the Thrill” bring the party to an exhausting close with the right combo of rifftastic aggression and singalong verve. The Heart and the Thrill has no time or concern for pushing boundaries and simply rocks its way into the night.
DOWNLOAD: “Tight Lip,” “Ovulator” “Snowed In”