Scott Tournet’s new ensemble of psychedelic cowboys, Elektric Voodoo, has released an ambitious self-titled debut album that evokes the cinema of the American West through a cosmic lens. After parting ways with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Tournet has assembled an eclectic outfit that draws from a diverse tapestry of musical influences, featuring Evan Lucas on bass, Mark Boyce on keyboards, Matt Bozzone on drums, and Ty Kiernan on a rather creative blend of percussive instruments . Such projects often run the risk of devolving into a overworked jumble, yet Elektric Voodoo manages to perfect a strange marriage of latin and afrobeat rhythms that provide the foundation for a combination of indie, classic rock, and western grooves.
Elektric Voodoo’s opening track, Secrets, is an energetic commencement that provides a snapshot of the hybrid of styles that define the remainder of the album. Ethereal vocals dance over the delightfully organic afrobeat drums, and a series of rhythmic crescendos propel the tune forward. Partway through the song, we are treated to a haunting Ennio Morricone-esque melody that is echoed in several of the other tracks, giving the entire album a decidedly spaghetti western feel.
Ball and Chain features an impressive interplay between latin guitar and creative percussion. The influence of jam-band sensibilities is present here, as Tournet and his bandmates navigate a succession of peaks and valleys, allowing the energy to build to a climax before snapping into some truly funky grooves.
Mercy is another highlight, although it eschews the afrobeat and latin sensibilities of the rest of the album in favor of a more industrial drum section. Elektric Voodoo induces a dream-like state on this track with floating vocals and droning western guitar. This reverie is finally shattered by a primal outro that is lengthy and soaring, providing a climax that will undoubtedly serve as an excellent canvas for improvisation in a live setting. The Other Side brings back the eclectic percussion, as well as featuring wailing psychedelic guitar leads and another furiously energetic outro.
Elektric Voodoo takes firmly grounded rhythms and uses them as a canvas on which to explore melodies that can best be described as a psychedelic interpretation of spaghetti western soundtracks. This is a compelling musical pairing, as it ties the frontier theme of the American West to the exploratory nature of psychedelic music. By drawing from a rich variety of musical traditions, Elektric Voodoo has crafted a cohesive album that blurs the lines between genres and eludes classification.