Heavy Electrics is the second record from Eat lights become lights, aka Neil Rudd. Pinned as ʻa soundtrack for an imaginary film’ by Rudd himself, the album holds close to its central concept throughout. Each of the nine tracks would provide a perfect backdrop to any budget retro-futuristic film.
Its only been a year since the first Eat lights’ album and unfortunately it shows. Rudd has managed to use this short time to pack plenty of content into the album (an impressive amount for a man producing tracks alone), but there aren’t enough fresh ideas to justify tracks which clock in at around ten minutes. A little more time and editing could have made Heavy Electronics a better record – at present there’s probably only enough here to justify an EP.
The album is fairly unrelenting from the start with an energetic tempo and abrasive dynamics throughout. Instrumentation remains almost identical from track to track; distorted guitars, synths and drums all played as loud as possible with little melodic variation or imagination.
The album suffers from unnecessarily loud production, the music that Reed aspires to (set designer & artist Syd Mead, the mastermind behind films including Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron is also mentioned as an influence) didn’t need to max out every inch off headroom to retain their impact. So many of these tracks rely on layering sounds but the restricted dynamic range vastly reduces their impact.
There is a disappointing lack of groove here. Eat lights have garnered comparisons to the likes of Krautrock mastermind’s Neu which is pushing it a bit far.
There is a welcome break on the standout track Sunrise at Marwar Junction. A pretty ambient piece which fully showcases Ruddʼs ability to build songs using emotive textures. It’s frustrating that this restraint can’t be heard anywhere else on the album.