HydroElectric – “Space Dirt” (CatseySoup Records 2012, CD)

HydroElectric are a Massachusetts based quartet that play guitar driven hard rock with a space rocking edge. The band consists of Monte Newman on guitar and vocals, Rikk Desgres on bass and vocals, Paul Picard on drums, and Paul Eggleston on keyboards. Yup, that’s right, Paul Eggleston from Architectural Metaphor.

Turn To Gray sets the tone for the album with chunky guitars, vocals and pounding drums, but also shooting star space synths. It’s good heavy rock with a space rock injection, and I like how even though it’s a tightly composed 4 minute song the band stretch out into instrumental passages and guitar soloing. Cut Me Down opens with keyboard atmospherics before launching into a 70s styled hard rock song that strikes me as a cross between Monster Magnet and early Blue Oyster Cult, plus organ and more space synths. Sleepwalking and What You Deserve are two more 70s styled rockers that I enjoyed. The pace slows on Heroic Dose, though the intensity level remains high, with haunting organ and some of most kick ass guitar soloing of the set. Edge Of The World is the longest song of the set at 7.5 minutes. It opens with JFK’s speech talking of the nation’s commitment to landing a man on the moon. The music is slowly grooving, with strumming acoustic guitar and atmospheric keyboards. After a couple minutes heavily fuzzed guitar briefly kicks in, and soon after the music develops into a spaced out jamming song with a stoner vibe. Very nice. And speaking of stoner vibe, Put You Away picks up where Edge Of The World left off, before launching into a Monster Magnet styled rocker with the addition of Paul jamming hard on organ, plus another stinger of a guitar solo. Doctor Who, not surprisingly, given the title, is keyboard dominated, sounding very much like an old time sci-fi TV show theme, though it’s all still heavy rocking. And War Inside My Head closes the CD with what is probably the most metallic song of the set.

Without the keys and synths, Space Dirt would be a damn good but fairly straightforward hard rock album. But with the keys and synths we get something far more interesting. The bad news is that HydroElectric disbanded late last year. However, their web site is still active and the CD is available.

For more information you can visit the HydroElectric web site at: http://hydroelectricmusic.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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