By Jose Castillo, A & E Columnist
On a foggy Friday night in Allston, Boston-based alternative rock band The Life Electric stood outside the Great Scott music venue, eagerly waiting to perform alongside groups Oh Mai and When Particles Collide.
Life Electric released its second LP, “The Real You,” last Friday, March 25, and was excited to celebrate with an energetic performance.
“[The Great Scott] is like our second home at this point,” said guitarist Ben Leang. “We were just here three months ago.”
According to its Facebook page, The Life Electric formed in 2011, bringing a sound that’s been described as a combination of modern disco, rock and reminiscent ofThe Flaming Lips.
“It means we are being sincere,” Leang said of the description. “It’s an approach. I think we give everything we have […] we leave it all on stage. In the studio, we didn’t make everything so perfect […] we recorded straight to the computer as opposed to doing a lot of processing afterwards.”
The Life Electric formed after Leang and bassist Cory Bean’s original band, Gold Star Morning, fell apart. A sound engineer who had worked with Leang suggested meeting with current lead singer Joey Chehade, whose previous act, Action Verbs, had broken up around the same time.
“I felt bad for Joey,” said Bean. “We put him through the ringer with auditions and stuff, but I feel like we probably pretty much knew from the first practice that this was going to work out.”
Since then, The Life Electric has released two albums and one EP and have welcomed two newcomers, Duey Ducharme on keys and Joel Silloway on drums. Its most recent album, “The Real You,” dropped last Friday, March 25.
“Our songs sound better written, better produced and smarter,” Leang said.
Bean said the title track, “The Real You,” has existed for nearly 10 years.
“What I like about the album is that a couple songs came from Ben’s vault of songs that he had written before we had even started,” Bean said. “It’s just really weird to think about.”
“The Real You” greets listeners with an energized beat in the opening track “Gone, Gone, Gone,” which was released as a single in 2014.
Its gritty rock undertones are mixed in with a pop-techno melody and revive a sound that could be lost in a collection of alternative rock songs from the early to mid 2000s.
Songs like “Everest and Thinking Cup” sport rougher, rock-heavy sounds from the group, highlighting scratchy, distorted guitar, heavy bass lines and tenor vocals. The album’s melody becomes a bit more soothing during tracks like “Ladders” and “Innocence,” yet still show off Chehade’s vocal range.
The Life Electric has opened for numerous acts, including Neon Trees, Cracker and Marcy Playground. The band performed at Boston’s Rock and Roll Rumble music festival and played at South by Southwest music festival in 2013.
The Life Electric hopes to continue rocking across the state and into the national spotlight.
“We just want more,” Leang said.