Electric General feels like hot java in your lap. It's the stuff to make you leap up and jump around.
The Pittsboro quartet's nervy rumble comes built on hooks that are dipped with backing vocals and impetuous swagger. Frontman John Ensslin, formerly of '90s power-poppers What Peggy Wants, frequently likes to vamp in a speak-sing over the top, suggesting The Pixies' Black Francis. Indeed, The Breaks even catch a little of that band's bristle, particularly on the quirky "My Tomato." Ensslin's tenor wavers and wobbles like a B-52, while guitarist Steve Carr's jagged, punchy riffs generate plenty of momentum.
Indeed, these seven tracks hardly seem to last 20 minutes. Written without filler, they fly by. The fuzzed-out "Find Another Favorite" suggests Superchunk, while the infectious, album-closing boogie of "Down to the Wire" blends late-'80s alt-rock, new wave and power pop. With hints of glam and undeniable bar band bluster, it comes closer to a straight-up rock rave than anything else on this debut. All this energy makes for a fine start; it probably makes for an even better rock-club night.