Electric Six
Mustang


4.0
excellent

Review

by turnip90210 USER (42 Reviews)
October 10th, 2013 | 33 replies


Release Date: 10/07/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Back in the saddle

There’s something distinctly Electric Six’ish about the cover of Mustang, as I can’t think of any other band that’s self-deprecating enough to not bother with having their name spelled correctly on their album artwork. It’s not like this grave error will endanger the act’s well-being – there’s still plenty of drunken jocks who’ll come to concerts, buy the branded lighters with bottle openers at the end, have a good time during “Gay Bar” and remain blissfully oblivious of what the band has been up to since they got dropped from XL Recordings. That’s how you pay the mortgage, not studio album sales. Still, the mortgage being taken care of by a handful of old hits is pretty handy, as it lets Electric Six do whatever the hell they feel like doing on studio albums.

Mustang is a curious little entity. At the core, it’s a collection of really solid and catchy tunes, the likes of which haven’t been seen since KILL. There’s no dead time here, no filler whatsoever, and pretty much every last one of those tracks is guaranteed to be a complete smasher live. I have no trouble envisioning the crowd going bonkers to “Cranial Games”, “Unnatural Beauty” or “Skin Traps”. “The New Shampoo” is as sensually groovy as the band ever got, “Gimme the Eyes” is as absurd as it’s unexpected and “Cheryl vs. Darryl” is another magnificent, blooming closer for the books. However, to keep the band busy in the studio and growing as musicians, the recorded arrangements feature constant intricacies and orchestration quirks that add a lot of flavour and make this deceptively simple record an incredibly potent grower.

Take the anchor track of the album, “Iron Dragon”. The first couple of goes through leave you amazed at all the masterfully constructed tension and energy, the powerful melodies and rock-solid vocal performance. Afterwards, you start peeking behind the curtain and notice the discrete ambience (the subtle effects on the piano in the first pre-chorus remind me of the landslide known as “We Use the Same Products”), the near-constant subtle guitar phrases in the background, and the little spastic freak-out at the end. Mind you, there’s more. Pretty much every single track features surprises like that, and I’d like to direct you to the tambourine break and harmonized clean guitar solo slapped in the middle of the rolling “Jessica Dresses Like a Dragon” and “Miss Peaches Wears an Iron Dress” with shrill skronk surrounding the saccharine, naïve interior. Of course there’s more, but I’ll leave the rest for you to dig up yourself.

A side effect of the chosen approach (burying little arrangement nuggets out of plain sight) is that the rocking songs seem to not rock quite as hard they could. For example, look at “Unnatural Beauty” – the riffs are going to get many a head going when whipped out live, but here the track feels hazy and overly laid back as it cuts a slice out of itself to leave room for the constant keyboard shimmers. As such, many a cut on Mustang won’t initially satiate the listener in a manner the instantly gratifying “Show Me What Your Lights Mean” does, furrowing many an eyebrow, but it all starts making sense on repeated listens. As Dick Valentine proclaims on “I Never ***ed Her” – “It’s a taste that is acquired.” Very fittingly, a truly bombastic guitar solo buried in the mix shows up immediately afterwards.

Once acquainted with, Mustang lacks weak spots, and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if in due course it’s going to be viewed as the penultimate Electric Six record. The lack of the immediacy of a big chunk of the band’s back catalogue turns out to be an unlikely strength, as the depth sneaks up on you completely unexpected. Do yourselves a favour; check this out, regardless of what your opinion on “Gay Bar” may be. Eventually it will click with you too.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013


6337 Comments


Album stream: http://www.craveonline.com/music/articles/584073-exclusive-album-stream-electric-six-mustang

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2013


16124 Comments


Might check it out, quite like some of their stuff and Valentine makes me laugh. pos.

Cipieron
October 10th 2013


3508 Comments


Flashy and Exterminate put the nail in the coffin for this band in my eyes, i'll probably give this a chance. still need to check out zodiac, kill, and brainwaves too.

turnip90210
October 10th 2013


321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Flashy's kinda meh in the end. I'm surprised you're put off by Exterminate, as it seems rather similar in approach to Switzerland, just a dash more "the hell is this" in places.

Mad.
October 10th 2013


4173 Comments


@Ciperion
How can you say the nail's in the coffin when you haven't listened to their 3 best albums...?

Awesome review, big pos from me. I reckon this should be featured

Cipieron
October 10th 2013


3508 Comments


i say that because their 4th and 5th albums were so bad. then i forgot about this band until now. the nail was in the coffin for me. i'll open up the coffin though and see what the body looks like now though

turnip90210
October 10th 2013


321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's quite different. :P

Acanthus
October 10th 2013


9545 Comments


These guys are great kitchen music, will check out.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Greyvy
October 10th 2013


5085 Comments


the booty brought me here

Digging: Soap and Skin - Lovetune for Vacuum

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 10th 2013


15743 Comments


hope y'all like my new record =)

Cipieron
October 10th 2013


3508 Comments


you're not Dick

MuhNamesTyler
October 10th 2013


4424 Comments


That's a mans ass

Cipieron
October 10th 2013


3508 Comments


then why do i still want to put my wiener in it?

BallsToTheWall
October 10th 2013


44805 Comments


Slap some barbeque sauce on that butt.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Wadlez
October 10th 2013


4670 Comments


"Back" in the saddle

I see what ya did there

Mad.
October 11th 2013


4173 Comments


Woo congrats on the feature

The ass wants you to listen to it.

turnip90210
October 11th 2013


321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't see this coming, where "this" is both the discussion in the comments section and the feature :P

Mad.
October 11th 2013


4173 Comments


Well it's more a discussion of the cover art

And I submitted the album for a feature ; )

turnip90210
October 11th 2013


321 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I noticed :P

Also, I have no clue how features work around here. I thought it was a case of someone with the appropriate powers selecting recent reviews he deemed appropriate and those getting featured.

Mad.
October 11th 2013


4173 Comments


Well what you do is go into the forum an then the Meds thread post a link to the review and why it should be featured, then the mods decide if it's worthy and obviously yours was!

I just said that it would be nice to let some people know that this band is far better than just "Gay. Bar"



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