Bleed Electric is the brainchild of Dean “S-Tradamus” Fortt and Chris “Mug5” Maguire, and their new six-track EP, Let the Invasion Begin, can only be described as epic. Their grand musical ambition is on full display, blending myriad influences including metal guitar, ’80s synth, club bangers, Sage Francis-esque rhymes, and enough Auto-Tune to make T-Pain jealous. With that said, the result is a mixed bag of tracks that would fit on any NFL highlight reel, which is only sort of a compliment.
Sometimes the weight of a musician’s ambition can sink a project. On Let the Invasion Begin, there isn’t enough to keep the duo from drowning. On EP opener “Trinity”, the tinkering of a keyboard leads into a driving beat. Fortt’s rhymes follow quickly, which, like on most of the EP, are full of earnest, yet self-important lines that can be off-putting.
Lone highlight “Gravity”, an atmospheric ballad, finds the duo harmoniously in sync, combining elements of contemporary R&B, and Fortt providing the most grounded and heartfelt lyrics of the affair: “The stars show you things that you never knew existed/It’s a standstill.”
The rest of the EP is a hodgepodge of bad and worse. The low point comes in the juvenile sleaze of “Cherry Bomb”, the chorus comprised of the line “You want my cherry bomb.” It’s like This is Spinal Tap funneled through the filter of LMFAO, a cringe-worthy thought.
If you’re searching for something to bridge the divide between the Black Eyed Peas and the rap/metal of the late ’90s, then Bleed Electric is the band for you. But then again, why are you searching for that?
Essential Tracks: “Gravity”