On their third album, Philadelphia quartet the Extraordinaires have taken on a new, stately musical influence: Queen. While Freddie Mercury impersonations are lacking on the new album, Electric and Benevolent , vocalist Jay Purdy explains, “We all kind of went through this period of time where we couldn’t stop listening to Queen. ... We’re not embarrassed—we’re proud of it.”
Like the group’s previous albums Electric and Benevolent is a collection of tunes that rely heavily on good songwriting. Without falling neatly into a genre, they draw inspiration from laid-back SoCal rock, sunny Beatles pop and old-time country melodies. But besides listening to a lot of Queen—and King Crimson, for that matter—bassist Matt Gibson said the album reflects additional changes to the band’s sound. “I think everything [on Electric and Benevolent ] has matured a bit and gotten more energetic. Not a Sesame Street kind of happy energetic, but more into rock ‘n’ roll.”
Guitarist Justin Wolf adds, “You can headbang to this album a lot better than our other ones.”
A quick listen to Electric and Benevolent reveals that it’s far from an homage to fat-bottomed girls and bicycles. In fact, it’s nearly a piece of nonfiction.
“It’s almost a biography of a turn-of-the-century inventor genius,” says Purdy. The Extraordinaires aren’t spilling the beans about who the album was based on, but Purdy would offer this hint: “It’s the story of an underdog who cares little about earthly possessions and more about the scientific pursuit and giving the people something. The way the album is written, if you don’t know who it’s about, it flows that way. But if you know and you have any understanding of the historical accuracy of what is being told, I think it would be doubly, if not triply, more exciting.” ■
Fri., June 19, 9pm. $10. With Buffalo Stance, Kill You in the Face + Brown Mushroom. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619. r5productions.com