Man, it’s always the same with Imperial State Electric, this band’s records on first spin sounding way too much like ’70s AM radio, with all the connotations of that statement. And then, when things get a bit louder, the first three KISS records come to mind, especially Dressed To Kill. But, like each of the three Imperial efforts that have preceded it, All Through The Night reveals its subtlety and goddamn electric songwriting as the album grabs your attention and then sinks in: the most egregious example of this trick might be 2012’s Pop War, which I originally gave a ridiculously low 6.5, but then ended up appreciating on so many different levels, with “Can’t Seem To Shake It Off My Mind” and “Deride And Conquer” still occupying headspace almost half a decade later.
It’s probably all an expectations game, if we’re getting to the absolute centre of things: with Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters, Entombed) at the helm and Dolf de Borst (The Datsuns) supplying riffs here too, the mind goes to wrecking ball garage rock places, which is clearly not where Andersson and de Borst have ever visualized Imperial State Electric. But, like we said, when these charmingly time-warped records – LPs that know nothing after 1979, as if the world ended with Dream Police or something – start impacting with their from-the-gut songwriting, the reasons you originally were attracted to this music flood back, even if those reasons get buried nowadays under layers of time restrictions or the vastness of the innumerable other (way, way louder) bands to explore.
So, aside from old-school country track “Break It Down” (sorry, call me what you will, but I can’t appreciate most country music), All Through The Night has the elements that make Imperial State Electric so successful at what it does, including: Foghat big riffs; saccharine but soulful melody; glorious dual leads worthy of the immortal Thin Lizzy, the kind that put you in a good mood no matter what’s happening; minor-key bass lines that lead to themes of angst and frustration; err, ‘borrowing’ the intro riff to “Carry On My Wayward Son”; the Chuck Berry-isms that Nicke Andersson can’t seem to get enough of; reverb-drenched intros that any classic rock station would add, immediately; and, an unsubtle, but effective, tribute to John Lennon-led The Beatles material.
That’s a whole bunch of words that really could just read, “Check out ‘Remove Your Doubt’, ‘ All Through The Night’ and ‘Would You Lie’. You’ll probably dig them.”
Source: BraveWords – Reviews