Sick Electric is:
Tyler Brito (Bass)
Jack Farley (Guitar, Vocals)
Ben Murphy (Drums)
Jim Poirier (Guitar, Vocals)
            Sick Electric’s sound is defined by the contrasting rhythms of two guitars that combine to carry a dynamic high-end, layered over syncopated drums and bass that balance it all together. With “Tiny Invasions”, the quartet pushes these elements to new sonic arenas on their first new material in a decade. 
    Thematically, “Tiny Invasions” zeroes in on the pervasive intrusion of social media and the seemingly inescapable grasp it has on our lives- we allow these invasions willingly, complicit in becoming vessels of data to be mined by digital/social media. There is a clear influence of heavy, post-punk, progressive music as well as a propensity to shift genres from song to song. Bassist Tyler Brito oversaw recording and engineering of the EP, which began pre-Coronavirus and continued throughout. Social distancing forced an embrace of some of those technological/virtual crutches on which they were commenting lyrically.
    The vocal approach on “Tiny Invasions” is deliberately over-the-top. Vocalists Jimmy and Jack channel opposite ends of the spectrum for ultimate contrast; Jimmy performs a caricature of aggressive toxic masculinity, which seems to taunt Jack’s sweet-yet-eerie falsetto swells at the other end. Like the rhythmic interplay of the guitars, these divergent styles meld to produce a balanced, dualist vocal harmony.
    Sick Electric has been around for a minute. Formed before the introduction of widespread streaming services, in the early aughts, they were a regular fixture of the Providence underground punk/noise scene. They toured the East Coast 3 times and released two full-length albums before taking a hiatus in 2010. Families and member departures preceded their reunion in 2017, which saw the addition of Tyler on bass. They wiped their catalog from the internet before starting fresh. 

For fans of: Idles, Viagra Boys, Tomahawk, QOTSA, Drug Church

Tiny Invasions” can be heard here: Sick Electric “Tiny Invasions”
Full Album Visualizer:

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"Tiny Invasions" EP Cover Artwork

"Band Press Photo Made of Bubblegum"

Overarching Theme of Tiny Invasions 

The common thread between these songs is the intrusions in our private lives, mostly through technology; invasions that would once have been horrifying are now the norm. We have become too willing to hand over our private data through searches, and scroll through sexual partners like channels on a tv. Corporations feed us personalized recommendations based on our digital consumption habits. We are trapped in a box while the fumes of cars, factories, and agriculture slowly suffocate us. We are over-prescribed and self-prescribed multitudes of drugs to combat the overwhelming social anxiety and these are inescapable, over-reaching invasions that incrementally become the status quo.

Artwork For Tiny Invasions

The artwork for the album is an image of a panopticon. There  is a woman made of bubblegum at the center of the panopticon. She is surrounded on all sides by rows of cells, and balloon shaped eyeballs all fixed on her.
The panopticon is a prison design, whereas the guard would be positioned in the center, with a 360 degree view of all captives. The guard is posted in a tower, unseen by the prisoners, and therefore they never know if or when they are being watched, which has led many to draw the comparison to surveillance technology of modern computers and cell phones.  Here however, the guard tower is replaced with a platform visible to all captives, upon which they are eternally fixated.
The “gum girl” is based on the Venus of Willendorf, an ancient statue believed to have been associated with fixation on fertility. She was the literal interpretation of the first song “Young & Dumb (and Chewing Gum)”, the ‘object’ pursued by the fictitious narrator. 
There is a deliberate gray area as to who is watching what here. It’s a circular system… but essentially the use of gum here represents the disposable nature of content on the internet, and giving it a human form, specifically an overly sexualized one, was suggestive of the sort of content that gets pushed and, not surprisingly, people gravitate toward.
The artwork for the album was fluid and interchangeable. Subsequent art in the form of visualizers continue the theme of “Gum”, taking literal interpretations of the songs and forming them from bubblegum.
All the art and video was done by singer/guitarist Jimmy Poirier, whose background is in visual media (VFX and animation for film/ music). He left a 14 year career as a tattoo artist to pursue commercial art. He has notably created visual content for bands such as Bad Rabbits, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, The Juliana Theory, and others, under the moniker Lazers Lab.

Band history 

Sick Electric’s first practice space was in the bowels of the mostly abandoned Dwelly Street Mills in Fall River, MA. Originally a trio- guitar (Jimmy Poirier), guitar (Jack Farley), drums (Ben Murphy)- their sound was shaped by a shared interest in heavy, progressive, post-punk music from bands such as At The Drive In and Refused. It was a sound defined by loud, busy, genre-shifting songs.
Within 6 months, they embarked on their first tour up and down the East Coast to support the “Nuclear Winter, Endless Summer” EP. They found welcoming audiences in the Southeast and returned to venues and underground shows throughout the region as often as possible. They soon released their first full-length album, “Haywire” which was critically slammed for being immature and lacking focus.
           Sick Electric continued to play extensively throughout the Northeast, while writing songs for their second full-length album, “Death By Electrocution''. This album found the band leaning more into pop/indie rock territory, creating a more narrow, cohesive sound than its predecessor. An east coast tour followed, after which the group disbanded amicably to pursue domestic bliss.
    About 6 years later, the members began playing together again, to perform some solo songs written by Jimmy. The process was very slow, but eventually they picked up bassist Tyler Brito - a longtime friend- and began writing music again under the name Sick Electric.


“We were part of the last generation to not grow up with the internet. We could see the effect it had on people, and I feel bad for kids now that don’t know a world pre-internet. It’s done a lot of really great things for us as a society but the unintended negative impact has been almost equivalent.” - Jimmy

On the vocals: “In the past, Jim has said that he resists writing from a personal place, but I think these lyrics are personal to him. He believes in what he’s writing/singing, even when the point of view of the “singer” is a character, or something like that, as in “Shoebox Terrarium”. That belief in what he’s saying, I think it comes across in his vocal performance on the EP.” - Ben 

On reforming the band: “I think the best part about our music is that each member/instrument has equal footing. The drums and bass aren’t just there to prop up the guitarists. I’ve played with many bands or sat in on a bunch of gigs over the past 20+ years. Playing with Sick Electric is by far the most rewarding. The riffs that Jim and John come up with allow me to play the way I enjoy most- odd times, polyrhythms, syncopated beats- without them being forced. The songs on this EP are the best balance of those dynamics. Selfishly I sometimes feel like they write the type of riffs/loops I hear in my head.” - Ben

“I have to constantly remind myself that this is a choice we make as individuals every single day - to participate in this culture of oversharing” - Jimmy

The Desktop Sunset video is a stylistic nod to Windows 95 and the origins of my (and many others) discontent with technology. The accessibility these systems offered at a still unmeasured cost. The connection to the outside world that slowly allowed us to retreat inward. Anyway, the video is overwhelming, and disorienting… I wanted to capture that feeling of experiencing the world wide web/ computer gaming for the first time - the flood of stimulation - the excitement and confusion.- Jimmy (This video will be released leading up to the release of the EP… samples available on request)

Lyrics & Commentary

Young & Dumb (and Chewing Gum)

Got an appetite for flavor
I want somethin' to chew
Somethin' without substance I can throw out when I'm through
I'll spit it right out on the ground
Then grab another piece and chew it
Don't leave your gum hanging around when I'm in town
or bet your ass you're gonna lose it
Cut my teeth on anything- ya
Makes me feel like a man
I want it - I want
I'll do whatever I can
I threw it out cuz I don't want it anymore
It lost its flavor after just a bite or two
Don't give another thought about it- not at all
Now it's stuck to someone else's fuckin' shoe

“This song was the first one we wrote upon getting together again as a band. I wrote these over-the-top lyrics from the perspective of a young philanderer. It’s pretty much the epitome of ‘toxic masculinity’
This song took the longest to fine-tune, and it’s really where we had the idea to create these two extremes of voice between Jack (Guitarist) and I. It seemed to work really well when I channeled that cartoonish, overly macho grit, while Jack contrasted with a smoother, softer falsetto. It became a call-and-response sort of conversation vocally, which is what we try to do with guitars as well. It became the hallmark of our vocal approach on the EP.
Another thing we did here and on ‘Detergent’, is that I added some staccato coughing as part of the vocals. This was another thing that felt way over-the-top when recording, but I think it sounds cool and fits the mood. It was inspired by the sound my son would make as a baby when he wanted to express disinterest in something. It’s a pretty effective communication.”-

Desktop Sunset

I'm dry - I'm dust - I'm delivered
Potent conspiracy - knockoff existentialist
Hormones in the phone
Look at how we've grown
Woke up on my own
What more do you want from me?
I haven't seen the sun in four whole days
except for the background on my desktop
I miss the cues to fall asleep
Vitamin deficiency
Can't process feelings or functions
Hormones in the phone
Look at how we've grown
Woke up on my own
What the fuck is wrong with me??

“This song was simply a meditation on the smartphone. It was written stream-of-conscience, very quickly, and never changed. What seemed nonsensical at first got some deeper meaning later as I was preparing for recording. It’s my favorite thing I ever wrote lyrically.” - Jimmy


Did you ever find yourself
just wonderin’ how
you got so low
and kept going?

Like waste water flowing down from the high land
collected at the bottom of seven hills.
Feel the stain-lifting power as it cuts through the scum
fingers are numb.

Silver linings on pools of detergent
run off in the gutter til they clear the drain.

Feel the stain-lifting power as it cuts through the scum
fingers are numb.

You left an outline of your body -
self portrait on the floor -
Disinfect everything that's left.
Don't wanna see it no more.

No matter how hard they try,
they can never sanitize.
Stretches too far and wide
to wash the waste down.
Of course it hurts - it's all poison;
illness or the cure.
And what you measured your strength by;
how much you could endure.
How long could you hold your hand
over the open flame
as you practiced an exercise
in futility and shame?

No matter how hard they try,
they can never sanitize.
Stretches too far and wide.
What a waste.

Did you ever find yourself
just wonderin’ how
you got so low
and kept going?

Waste water leaked through that apartment.
Fresh coast painted over all good as new.

See the stain underneath showing through running out
of things to do.

No matter how hard you can scrub it,
some stains won't go away.

“I don’t usually write from personal experience with Sick Electric… it feels “off-brand” and to be honest I don’t like the vulnerability… That said, this song is really personal, and was pieced together over a few months using several different experiences as the basis for its construction. It’s about the toll of the opioid epidemic on the city where the bassist, Tyler, and I grew up- Fall River, Massachusetts. Seven Hills is a reference to the neighborhood in Fall River (where Tyler still lives). That community has been hit really hard- Anyway, the song is about seeing your friends hit rock bottom, and how there’s really nothing you can do to fix the problem. 
I had an old landlord (who was really more of a slumlord) who let this apartment fall into complete disrepair. We found a squatter in the basement - always getting broken into - nothing worked. There was a leak in the ceiling, and everytime she brought someone in to ‘fix’ the leak, they would just paint it white and move on… and of course it would only take a few days for the rusty water to leak through the new paint… It seemed like an appropriate closing metaphor, because really all the changes that can happen in many of these addiction situations are superficial… Real change only happens if the person really wants it.” - Jimmy

Shoebox Terrarium

So it got a little warm in here
better poke some holes up in the atmosphere
of the shoebox terrarium to keep a bunch of lizards alive
Or I guess you could just hold your breath
as the greenhouses gases strangle us to death.
Drift into a euphoria and let the panic melt away.
It's getting warm in here.
Our tails are tangled up while we're gettin strangled.
Shoebox terrarium ?  let us out.
Dead trees surround the concrete blocks
White light leaks through this perforated box.
This is not a familiar place.
Who's idea was it anyway?
The hand appears from behind the sky
brings light then chooses who is next to die.
Who is he and how does he decide?
Will you see his face before you go?
It's getting warm in here.
Our tails are tangled up while we're gettin strangled.
Shoebox terrarium? Let us out.
What kind of captor did you expect?
Half-wit, half-blind, sadistic architect
and a giant magnifying lens aiming at us every day.
I hope that we can ignore common sense;
Enjoy these last few days in blissful ignorance
In the shoebox terrarium
with all these dead lizards inside.

“This idea was simple - the earth is like a shoebox terrarium with holes poked in the top. We are all lizards trapped inside slowly suffocating because some maniacs wanna block out fresh air. As much as I wanna say this was just some zany analogy that I thought was funny, it’s pretty much how I feel about the current climate condition. I think it sounds like I wrote it when I was 13 but I really wrote it recently and I’m old as fuck. I feel like a lizard and the ones with the power to do something are these giants safe on the outside of the box- more concerned with their own interest.” - Jimmy

A Window, Not a Mirror

Is this who I am?
I guess I'll believe anything you tell me
You know me better than I know myself sometimes
Reflection is clear
But this is a window and not a mirror
I can't see myself without letting you in
Been searchin’ all night
But something ain't right I can tell you that now
If I don't know it by now then I'll never know

“This song personified the overarching theme of Tiny Invasions. The hundreds- maybe thousands- of socially-accepted violations of personal privacy and agency that we deal with on a daily basis. The inescapable trappings of the modern world.
One night I had an epiphany, like many people, I’m sure. I was doing a work related websearch (on a ‘private’ search browser), and was on social media later getting ad after ad based on this prior query. It caused me to really think about how much data all these companies really have on us. It’s no secret that it’s a lot.
I saw these products that they were trying to sell me based on my search history - but I also saw myself as the product - and there was this brief moment of absolute lunacy, where I realized Google knows more about me than most people I know. They might even know more about me than I do, based on a wealth of comparative accumulated data across demographics. ‘Why should I deny the version of me they have created? Maybe that is the real me.’ 
Anyway, I look at my devices in a different way now. They can reflect us back onto ourselves - but it’s like a window that you really can’t draw the blinds on. It’s made me much more private.” - Jimmy

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