It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.
Posters extolling the virtues of Austin's Electric Touch were freakin' everywhere at SXSW, so when the band decided to bring their dog-and-pony show to Houston we were keen to investigate their alleged awesomeness for ourselves.
Their EP Don't Stop is not bad, not bad at all. Drawing water from the same well as the Killers and Kings of Leon, the music is high-energy and full of plaintive wails for love. You can hear a unique mixture of American and British musical approaches in tracks like "Dominos," a rather hopeless little ditty that nonetheless seems to find some kind of comfort in a failing world.
All in all, Electric Touch reminds us of music you would've heard played at the Bronze in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so we're more than OK with it, but that name...
Electric Touch? What in the name of Thor's blonde curlies does that mean? Are they supervillains?
Electricity-based supervillains are always meatheads that get beaten by buckets of water. Or maybe they just generate a lot of static electricity or something, in which case we want them to keep the hell away from us at gas stations lest they engulf us all in the flames of the already-angered Gods of Petrol.
Typing each word with careful, murderous precision, we sent an email off to the band demanding an explanation for their name. their response was prompt and collective.
"We were searching for an interesting juxtaposition akin to 'A Clockwork Orange' that would represent human emotions and feelings created artificially," Electric Touch says. "Something reaching for the future while still acknowledging the baser instincts of the human condition.
"It describes our music perfectly to a point we included the definitions in our very first record. ELECTRIC (e-lec-tric) - adj. thrilling, exciting, stirring/ TOUCH (tuh-ch) - v. to affect with feeling or emotion."
Whoa there, pretty boys. We do the definitions 'round these parts, and we'll thank you to remember it. So you want to play word games, huh? Well, we say there is more to it than that.
When you think of an electric touch, you more than likely think of the joy buzzer. Invented in 1928 by Soren Sorensen Adams, the device contained a mechanism that rapidly vibrated when you came into contact with it, giving off an electrified feeling. The gag was to conceal it in your hand, then surprise the person with whom you greeted with a handshake.
Popular culture usually portrays the joy buzzer as giving off an electric shock. Krusty the Clown tortured Homer Simpson with one, and Joker was known to use a lethal version to murder people. This is completely false. The device is key-driven, not electrically powered.
There is, however, the shock pen. The shock pen looks like an ordinary pen, but when the button is depressed that would normal expose the writing tip a small electric shock is administered.
Sounds cute, but the device actually has a warning that it can interfere with pacemakers and other electrical medical devices. California actually attempted to ban the devices in 2011 after a sixth-grade teacher, Susan Casimano, was stricken with nerve damage and arrhythmia.
What does this have to do with Electric Touch, indie band? Well, dig this... Electric Touch is an anagram for Occult Heretic. That is one of the eeriest stretches we've ever made in this column, but it's nonetheless true.
"What's your real, evil agenda?" we asked.
"Umm... No answer, cause we're am not supposed to talk about it," they insisted.
"It's deadly, electric joy buzzers isn't it? ISN'T IT?"
"Yes, We've been in the market for one of those for a long time. Maybe we will slap a logo on 'em and sell them at the merch table."
You read it here first, folks. Electric Touch is out to electrocute you with their merchandise, or barring that, arm you to electrocute others (albeit in a mild dosage). Be warned.
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Electric Touch: (n) 1. Indie band from Austin. 2. A potentially lethal practical joke. 3. Occult heretic.
Electric Touch plays Bellaire High School today at 11:30 a.m., at House of Blues the Friday tonight with Hot Chelle Rae, and a free in-store 1 p.m. Saturday at Cactus Music.