The history behind The Electric Grandmother pretty much revolves around Pete and Mary Alice’s love for 80s and 90s sitcoms as well as absolute love for one another. It is pretty inspiring where I sit here and think about it.
They are band-mates for life and two of the most genuine people I have gotten to know for over the past twenty-five years. One grew up in Ohio, the other in Hawaii, it is like a living sitcom when you think about it.
Pete and Mary Alice were actually with me the night the Menzingers had to cancel their Kentucky show due to food poisoning and I miraculously got them in touch with Kent, NOFX’s manager. I only mention that as they both thought I was the man that night for getting things right. What can I say? I’m a legend in my spare time.
In the past, I’ve failed to make mention of their releases as I had this moronic thought process where I would not review material from friend’s bands. Clearly that has changed within the past couple of years.
I am not sure why I chose that route, but I can say that I almost would prefer to share the talent of those I know and love rather than keep it all to myself. I am surrounded by some amazing people and it would be unfair not to share what I hear.
Enough about me, let’s talk about The Electric Grandmother some more.
Originally starting in Columbus back in 1999, the duo moved to D.C. and kept on a truckin’. Their live shows are not to the norm and usually come with a slideshow and bubble machine. I’ve never met a person who has not gotten a kick out of their shows. Even the metalheads in Canton at some bizarre house-venue adored them.
The Electric Grandmother is not really for those who carry boundaries on their music genres or lack a humorous imagination. To be a fan means you need to carry appreciation for experimental approaches and a love for sitcoms. After all, this is the band that dubbed themselves “sitcom-core”.
Cancelled is a concept album of sorts about a man whose sanity is compromised by the cancellation of his favorite cop TV drama program by a new one. The album digs far deeper with emotion than previous albums have as duo Pete and Mary Alice take a new approach at their appreciation for television by speaking of a man whose life is affected by change.
In fact, I will just let Pete and Mary Alice explain it a little more:
“Cancelled is this story of a man’s descent into madness following the cancellation of his favorite cop-drama. This is the unfortunate feedback the man received at his office, the mindless reaction to the shallow “Cop Force,” the show that caused “Police Department” to be pushed aside.”
With that said, I’m hoping you can understand the originality of this band and can appreciate the story that surrounds this album. I know I did.
“TV” was the first track on the album with Pete singing and Mary Alice providing background vocals. This track was pretty intense to listen to all due to distorted ambient sounds that supplied the introduction to the story of a lonely man and his beloved TV show.
I actually heard “Police Department Theme Song” a few weeks back on and adored it. This track shed light on how someone could be so obsessed with a show. It was the intro music for the show that the man more or less worshipped.
“Radial Sunrise” was a happy-go-lucky song showcasing the man in positive spirits thanks to said TV show. Pete’s quick singing on this track was just great. Pay attention though, or you might miss something.
“Feedback Lives” is the absolute change in the story where things start going south. Even the music sounded concerning as well as the signing about two new dudes who change everything.
This change continued with the downward spiral of “Cancelled”. This track had Pete and Mary Alice taking turns telling the story from the man’s angle as well as the network’s. I really loved the music on this one too, it was all over the place.
I am not going to sit here and tell the entire story, you will have to hear it for yourself. I will say though by the time “The End?” came on, I could gauge a level of uncomfortable restlessness by a man who could not adapt to change.
This songs on album are so much more in-depth than from what I recall their previous albums containing. It’s like Beck, Cibo Mato, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, Postal Service, Mike Patton, and Bran Van 3000 all got in a huge ass fistfight. That’s probably a complete crap shoot there, but at least I got to say crap shoot here on this good ol’ blog.
Seriously though, I was super intrigued throughout the album and loved the variety as well as the overall story. I was impressed with the music Pete and Mary Alice created as well as their vocals. They both really have matured into some pretty amazing musicians.
On top of a great idea of an album, there are also music videos for a couple of the songs to give you even more of a visual. Check them out below and enjoy.
If you have the slightest curiosity about this album, just click play below already. The Electric Grandmother have hopped boundaries and borders this time. It only makes sense considering the adventure they have been on from the day they caught each other’s attention.