The Union Electric – Time Is Gold (Rankoutsider Records)
On “Time Is Gold” The Union Electric (Tim Rakehell, Glenn Burleigh, Malice Cooper, Mic Boshans) pull together a range of stimulus, from old country and first generation insurgents, such as Uncle Tupelo, to flannel shirted rock and spiky post-punk. That’s an interesting list, and on paper they’re not necessarily compatible, but they make it work, and what’s more, “Time Is Gold” feels like the start of something innovative and new.
It’s a common trait amongst all serious music fans; we all spend far too much time trying to track down the truly original and unique. The Union Electric isn’t there yet – it’s too easy to pin down their influences – but they’re definitely doing something right. Take the opening cut “Truman”, it borrows from the Louvins’ “Great Atomic Power”, via both Uncle Tupelo and Robert Earl Keen, but done with rattling ice-pick guitars and grungy bearing. It’s genuinely something else. “Saint Francis of Illinois” is swampy and unhurried, and pays tribute to poet Vachel Lindsay and “Thylacine” twangs and lurches like something from a David Lynch soundtrack; as played by Poison Ivy Rorschach, and that’s before the Mariachi horns step in.
Several of the tracks have been previously released on a trio of 7” singles, which still seem to be available. If black plastic’s your thing, grab ‘em before they go.