Amish Electric Chair - Straight. No Chaser (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Amish Electric Chair

Straight. No Chaser (2009)

Geykido Comet

The playfully perverse name Amish Electric Chair dons across their equally morbid DIY cover art gives little indication of the fiery melodic punk contained therein: a fuming concoction of equal parts Anti-Flag, Time Again and Strike Anywhere with their own fervent Midwestern twist.

The initial shock of how much the EP's opener "Social Revolution" sounds like Justin, Pat, Chris and Chris may take a moment to wear off given the familiar sneering vocals, rolling bassline, unabashed political stance and even the chord pattern. However, when it does, a varied but consistent five-song disc emerges. Arguably, the best of the bundle is "State of the Union," which unlike its opening-number counterpart, seems more reflective than angry as it attests, "Young kids and girls / You're at the top of the world" above a warm four-chord progression. Like the opener, "Jellico, Tennessee" gives a resounding nod to Anti-Flag musically and lyrically with a simple chorus of "Fuck you, Jellico, Tennessee." "What We Could Use" follows with a stronger melody and outstanding bass fretwork, highlighted by start-and-stop timing and a popping rhythm.

The EP's closer takes its name from the infamous 1980s anti-development slogan "Not In My Backyard." At 3:05, it's the disc's longest cut, and closes out the whole EP in appropriate fashion, a feisty shouter that ends with an ominous group vocal melody, set back in the mix to let the hammering guitar and barreling bassline play alongside.

Though brief in duration, Straight. No Chaser provides an excellent sampling of what Amish Electric Chair has to offer, and hopefully a preview of what's to come from this Ohio trio.