Back in July, Montclair-based band Electric Sensei released their first official EP, Chaotic Good. These three familiar tracks were first heard by the public off the Mr. Pink/Electric Sensei split released back in November. Remixed and remastered, the tracks are cleaner yet dirtier than before and marketed with beautifully badass artwork by Bobby Kirner.
The band draws influence from acts like Queens of the Stone Age, Mr. Bungle, Ween, and System of a Down, while creating a theatrically frightening stage personality. Electric Sensei crafts an image of a mad scientist in who’s experiments are badass rock music.
I remember when Wazu, the incarnation that soon became Electric Sensei, played their first show in my basement back in June 2015. At the time the act was only a three-piece: guitar and vocals (Spencer), drums (Joey) and bass. They were cool and incredibly tight. Simple, crisp grunge rock with a nice, heavy tone.
Since then, Electric Sensei has evolved into a much more complicated beast. Now a four-piece, the band consists of Spencer Danielle (vocals, guitar), Joey Papa (drums), Zach Olsson (keys), and Wyatt Rydlewski (bass).
Electric Sensei’s stage performances are wild. Keyboardist Zach evokes that mad scientist vibe when he sits at his stands of synths and equipment. Spencer is one of the most intimidating frontmen in the scene, blaring a didgeridoo into the microphone while layering loops of his own screams, as he either lays on the ground or stands with long, bleach blonde hair covering his whole face.
“Catfish” is my favorite song off Chaotic Good. The song is simply about an internet catfish, which is unique and interesting. The bass trudges through first with a thick fuzz tone, followed by everyone else kicking in with a semi-humorous, but very musical reference to cliché spy movie music. The bass and drums push the song along as we listen to the lyrics and synthetic, spooky-toned guitar.
Definitely give this EP a listen and catch a live set when you can to witness one of the most entertaining stage performances in NJ local music.
Bridget is the bass master of local favorite Whiner, and formerly of Shred Flintstone.