Electric Six
Bride Of The Devil


3.5
great

Review

by turnip90210 USER (73 Reviews)
March 11th, 2019 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A step in the right direction

If a band opts for the fade out route, there's usually a point at which you tell the magic is gone and all you're staring at is a hollow husk. In the case of Electric Six, I got that feeling when I first checked out "Arrive Alive", a preview track for their last album. It sounded like a literal shelved demo from 2007, production quality, melodic patterns and everything. Then How Dare You dropped and that dud turned out to be one of the record's highlights. Years of various corner cutting, overcommitment and general staying power decay culminated in the band turning into an empty shell of itself. I examined my past decade of Electric Six listening on last.fm and noticed that the last album of theirs that entered proper rotation was Heartbeats & Brainwaves. Everything from Mustang onwards would fly in one ear upon release, get some plays, and fly out the other within half a year. How Dare You was just a culmination of this gradual process, and hasn't been spun again since the day I laid my hands on it.

Surprise!

Bride of the Devil feels like a conscious reevaluation of all the aspects of being a working band Electric Six started neglecting over the years. The cover art is actual cover art, rather than some borderline placeholder visual, and the band goes the extra mile and offers a matching image set for the singles. The production job is the best since The Colonel left the fold, which may be related to bringing him back on board for the entirety of the mixing/mastering process. And, crucially, the writing is largely on point. The sights are set for a similar sort of "back to roots" approach that How Dare You miserably failed at, but is executed far tighter. While the overall level may be a notch lower than what the band represented during its golden era, it's still easily their greatest record in years. The highs are fantastic, with the absolute star being "Safety Girl". A calm, funk-infused verse trades off with a monstrous chorus carried by the doubled roar of guitar power chords and complementary synth pad. Ladies and germs, Electric Six at their finest.

The main problem of the record is conceptual. Electric Six, a somewhat experimental collective that has been in a perpetual state of mild musical flux since Switzerland, has now stayed pretty close to their original sound for two records running. While the band dabbles a bit in grunge ("Daddy's Boy", "Full Moon Over the Internet"), hair metal ("The Opener") and classic rock ("You're Toast") on the stronger tracks in the interest of keeping things from going stale, I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master was already more adventurous than this batch of material. It doesn't help that the worst stuff ("Hades Ladies", "The Worm in the Wood") stems from well-treaded grounds. For the time being, I don't mind - over 50% of the record has successfully wormed its way into my brain, and my last.fm listen count has the album outperforming everything released after Heartbeats & Brainwaves for retention. While this may only compare to the Flashy hiccup in terms of quality of Electric Six's unlikely 2006-2011 golden age, it is a step in the right direction. I hope that the band learned the value of sweating the small stuff with this record and am once again awaiting their future output with a dash of optimism.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
turnip90210
March 11th 2019


423 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fun fact - the How Dare You revelation was so dire I retconned all my post-2011 ratings down half a point and vowed to not step into the same cesspool again. And yet here I am, on account of the cesspool cleaning up its act quite a bit. It's lucky I waited this out, as I got to see this has promise of actual staying power at the time of reviewing.



It's funny how inaccurate the Heartbeats & Brainwaves review actually is from a time perspective. It took a long while but the record bloomed into one of their career highlights for me.

Pheromone
March 11th 2019


6932 Comments


God, I can't imagine this not sucking

Digging: Moonshake - Eva Luna

pizzamachine
March 11th 2019


14151 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great album!

banstylejbo
April 5th 2019


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I personally would rank Bride of the Devil in the mid to lower tier of all E6 albums. Like the reviewer above, I separate their discography in terms of pre and post-Heartbeats and Brainwaves albums. The albums post-Heartbeats just sound different. They're still identifiable as E6 but not quite the same as what came before.



While Bride is one of the better albums in this later group, like most later-day E6 albums it still has the feeling of an album of a few truly good songs surrounded by a lot of E6-by-the-numbers. Now at this point my brain is firmly wired to enjoy all E6 albums, regardless of whether they match their past glory. So I'm sure I'm more generous in my rating of this album than most others would be. It's good, but not great. Although I will admit that for me many later-day E6 albums benefit from a lot of re-listening as the first listen or two doesn't always grab me, but by listen 6 or 7 I start to get into whatever weird groove the album has. I felt the same way about How Dare You, which starts off with a few of the worst E6 tracks I can think of, but by the middle of the album is actually pretty consistently good. For me their absolute low point is Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres. That was the album that made me think they were finally going to hang it up. I mean one of the songs was literally a blatant rip of another song on a previous album. I am glad they have been able to rally to some extent and put out a few more albums that I enjoy. At this point anything we get from them I am grateful for because with 14 albums in 15 years its all just gravy on top.

Kalopsia
April 5th 2019


3276 Comments


geez.. i haven't listened to anything by these guys since Flashy...
i might listen to a few songs off this on youtube, but not holding my breath.

kudos to Valentine for essentially putting out a new album every year for the past 10 years though

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing



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