Right, to start off with, throw away all that you though about Electric Six. Forget Gay Bar. Forget Danger! High Voltage. Although this record keeps the basic disco rock feel of Fire, it is a much more keyboard driven album, and is also very funky in places. There is also the obvious lack of a gimmicky single, which automatically enhances the credibility of the album.
Secondly, throw away what you thought you knew about my musical taste. I'm sure some of you who are reading this will be thinking to yourself 'What? Joe listening to something other than kvlt Black/Death Metal? This isn't right. I was under the impression that he only listened to a band if at least two members are, or have previously been in jail for the murder of Christian virgins or the burning of a church.' Well, i do like other types of music. And Electric Six happen to be about 4 or 5 on my list of favourite bands of all time, and are easily my favourite band to see live (Along with Alter Bridge and Freaks Union, that is).
Well, shall we proceed to the actual album? As soon as my Dad got home with this album and announced he'd found it buried behind a stack of other cd's in our local record shop, i was excited. But, i was shocked when he showed me his faverouite track, 'Dance Epidemic.' This wasn't the Electric Six i thought i knew! This was keyboard driven mayhem with genuinely hilarious lyrical concepts and chorus'. The guitar work had also drastically improved, and i was surprised at the wah-wah licks and solo which cut through the rocking bass riff towards the end of the song. I immediately loved this song, and decided to listen again. And again. Then some more. Then i told myself 'one more time,' and reluctantly moved onto the next track.
Now, major flaw in my listening here. I started at track 6, went through to the end, then listened to the start of the album. Not a good thing when I知 writing a review of this album eh? So, I知 going to rewind, and start from track one now, to make it easier for you guys to read/understand/be bothered to read the rest.
The first track of the album 'Rock and Roll Evacuation' is fairly typical to the rest of the album. A driving guitar line in the verse and some keyboard licks in the chorus form the musical base of the song, with lyrics such as 'Evil girls biting good girls, turning good girls into bad girls' making up the lyrical content. A very catchy chorus, with gang vocals throughout, shouting 'Rock and roll evacuation!' A solid opener leads into 'Devil Night', easily one of the tightest and well written tracks of the album. Starting with a very catchy keyboard part, and going into a similar verse, this is a solid track with catchy vocals and a very funky little bridge part. Shame that it is overshadowed by arguably the best track on the album, 'Bite Me.' Although this track is less synth/keyboard driven, it is certainly very catchy, and is one of those songs that the intro alone makes you smile. The verse lyrics follow a repetitive chant pattern, with the chant being 'Are you ready for ......' Some examples include 'Are you ready for the f**king machine' and 'Are you ready for big big savings,' which frankly make little sense. A very good track nevertheless, with a very spaced out outro, with a nice time signature on the drums (not sure what it is :). The next track, Jimmy Carter, is probably the worst of the album. Its pretty much a weird experimental track, but adding this to the album makes little sense to me, as the lyrics also seem to make no sense atall.
Now, this is where the most hilarious part of the album comes in. It is called 'Pleasing Interlude No.1,' in which some random keyboard backs a man (I think its Dick Valentine) talking nonsense. The exact words he says are:
I woke up on the floor again,
and I needed something to eat, so I went down the street to Monty's Grill.
"What'll it be" Said Monty, sporting a wry grin.
"Just give me the usual, Monty" I said.
Monty just scratched his head, and said "what is that again?"
The usual was a Utah burger with cheese fries and a coke.
Monty knew that, I had been coming there everyday for the last four years.
Then I began to realise, the man behind the counter was the IMPOSTER!!
This leads into the mighty 'Dance Epidemic,' easily the catchiest song on the album. Well, you knew that, i already talked about it. 'Future Boys' is up next, and this is my faverouite song of the album. The lyrics are pure genius, as this sample will show. It痴 all about the new generation of post-graduate office workers and their lifestyles.
Stevie's joined a corporation
Another bee for the beehive
Johnny makes love to a dummy
Says, "ain't it good to be alive?"
The music itself is great, with some very nice keyboard work throughout, and a repetitive yet catchy guitar riff that repeats itself throughout the intro and verse. They also employed a group of singers that used to sing backing on records in the 60's to sing 'Future Boysssss!' in the chorus'. A great song to dance to when wasted at parties. Believe me, I did it on Monday.
The album is then toned down for 'Dance-A-Thon 2005,' which i view as pretty much a filler track, but with some funny lyrics and a nice keyboard bit in the chorus. Thankfully, the album lifts again for the exceptional 'Be My Dark Angel.' A nice little guitar lick/solo in the intro leads into an overdriven bass line for the verse, with yet more hilarious lyrics;
You were walking down the street
You were just across the street
So I had to cross the street
To get to your side of the street
Yet another great chorus, where he keeps chanting 'Be my, be my, be my dark angel!' Now, the bridge in this song is the second most hilarious part on the album.
When bad girls start wrestling
Everyone wants to be
the next referee
The record is skipping
The dance is disturbing
The Jacksons are reuniting
They're going on tour
And I can't take it anymore
I personally couldn't think of lyrics like that if someone had a gun to my head, i have no idea how Valentine does it.
Now Vibrator is possibly the only song on the album that is overtly stupid (well, full song anyway, the Pleasing Interludes don't count). Lyrical content is relatively obvious from the title, but the song isn't a complete disappointment. It has alot of nice gang vocals, and a very catchy 'She don't, she don't, she don't need no vibrator!' in the chorus, and an absolutely brilliant keyboard solo. 'Boy or Girl?' is much the same, with some good guitar licks, but a more toned down verse and chorus. Pretty much another filler track here.
Now onto 'Pleasing Interlude 2.' The lyrics to this 27 second 'song*' (*term used in loosest way possible) are the height of random.
She doesn't like it too hot.
She doesn't like it too cold.
Room temperature, room temperature.
To put it bluntly, i want some of what Valentines smoking.
Right, their cover of 'Radio Ga Ga' (originally done by Queen if you've been in a cave your whole life that blocks out basic musical knowledge) is a very respectable one. His voice compliments the music, and so does the added heavily synthesised keyboard. A very nice solo tops of the song.
The last 2 tracks of the album are totally unexplainable. Well, I can't explain them. 'Taxi To Nowhere' is a nice piano only song, with some very weird lyrics. You really have to listen to the song the understand it. 'Future Is In The Future' is a very mellow track, but also one of my faverouite. It痴 a good song to chill out too, and it also has the advantage of being very funky. The bass line is great, and the mellow keyboard and guitar licks throughout really compliment the song. It also has a great sax solo towards the end as well.
We値l karaoke all night long,
We値l Macarena till the break of dawn
We値l drive around until the morning light
All night, all night, all night, all night
Overall, i love this album. The writing has taken a massive step up from 'Fire,' and they are relying more on their musicianship and ability to write catchy, witty songs than their famous gimmick singles to sell records. My only gripe with this album is that it wasn't publicised atall, and I doubt many of you knew that they released a follow up.
Pro's : Music is more keyboard driven, which is great.
The guitar and general instrument work is alot better, and alot more tasteful overall.
The lyrics are hilarious, and very catchy.
Makes for a great live experience.
A mix of softer songs and upbeat songs you can dance too.
The 'Pleasing Interludes' are hilarious.
Con's : A couple of filler tracks.
They didn't advertise it atall.
Not for people who think music is a religion and take it insanely seriously.