The last time Electric Frankenstein clunked North over the U.S.-Canada border was several years ago, but the long-serving punk rockers finally straightened out their various legal difficulties and made a successful four-date foray into Ontario and Quebec. Back when they began 13 years ago EF's New-York style guitar thunder was something of an anomaly; since then their influence has led to a whole new generation of down and dirty rock'n'roll bands — among them show opener The Million Dollar Marxists.

The first question one has to ask at a Million Dollar Marxists show is, "What will singer Luke Nuclear find to swing from/stand on/jump off/destroy this time?" Fortunately for the structural integrity of Barrymore's, most of the sound gear is suspended safely out of reach — Luke had to content himself with balancing on Timmy Two Tones' kick drum and molesting bass player Johnny Genome. Apart from the lead singer's antics, the band's rock anthems made for a very entertaining start to the evening's entertainment.

Maximum RNR, the second support act, began its life as Maximum RNB; they changed their name because rhythm and blues is not really their field. Actually, they should have changed their name to plain old Maximum R, since there straight-ahead metal-tinged punk rock doesn't have a lot of roll.

SInger Louie Durand had his own acrobatic repertoire — though he's outmatched by Nuclear's property-and-life threatening feats — and lead guitarist Keith Carman is a skilled shredder and can whip his dreadlocks about like nobody's business. No new ground was broken, but the band continues to improve, and put out a high energy show.

The members of Electric Frankenstein don't bother with bouncing around the stage (well, apart from bass player Bill Gill), which is just as well, since they're a fairly hefty bunch. No, they just slam out their crunching punk rock tunes, as well as appropriate covers of AC/DC's 'High Voltage' and the night's highlight, a version of Motorhead's 'We Are The Road Crew'. They also dedicated a song to John Heffernann, the rhythm guitarist of NYC punks the Bullys, and a city fireman who died in the collapse of the World Trade Centre towers.

The crowd was obviously glad to see the band who, whatever its lineup changes, hasn't changed a bit, and will probably keep on rocking the way they do until doomsday.






















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