Three years ago, the Relatives had the sort of story that would put a smile on your face: Dallas pyschedelic gospel-funk group records a few unheard singles in the 1970s, disbands, and then is discovered three decades later by Austin crate-diggers, who get them back together and back onstage and release a long-overdue compilation of their work. Thirty years after the fact, hard work and good taste finally prevail. If the tale had ended there, it would have been a happy one indeed.
But it doesn’t end there. Next Tuesday, February 19, the Relatives will transcend their status as a vibrant oldies act when Yep Roc Records releases The Electric Word, the group’s brand new—and first-ever—studio record. Recorded with Spoon drummer Jim Eno behind the boards, The Electric Word is a thrilling testament to the Relatives’ belief in keeping one eye on the pews, one eye on the dancefloor, and an ear cocked to the strains of hard-rock radio. God-centered lyrics, chicken-scratch guitars, head-banging six-string distortion—it’s all here in undiminished capacity, as if the Relatives’ heyday was right now. Which, come to think of it, it is.
For the next five days, you can listen to an exclusive stream of the album right here. (And pre-order the album through a few different sites, below.) While you’re at it, you can check out our profile of the band, which will appear next week in the March issue of Texas Monthly.