Since 2003, the Electric Six have managed to crank out five full-length albums and enough boneheaded rock classics to fill your favorite bar. Yet their 2003 debut disc Fire remains the band’s calling card, featuring four-on-the-floor classics like “Dance Commander”, “Danger! High Voltage”, and, of course, “Gay Bar”. Yet singer Dick Valentine is no doubt sick of those three songs still being his most well-known, which is understandable given how each successive, wildly uneven E6 disc shows his band improving, expanding, and getting better with age (2007’s I Shall Exterminate ... was filled with some of their best stylistic detours yet).
So, with Flashy, Valentine gives a middle-finger to those casual, hit-baiting fans by opening his disc with “Gay Bar, Pt. 2”, a horn-filled number that bears little resemblance to the surf-rock ridiculousness of its predecessor. As expected, the Six wind up repeating a lot of their lesser boneheaded rock moments of years past (“Heavy Woman”, “Graphic Designer”), but every forgettable track seems to be matched by a flat-out great one, resulting in full-bodied choruses (the sexy pop grind of “Your Heat Is Rising”), mature(ish) rock numbers (the excellent “Watching Evil Empires Fall Apart”), and even a few experimental detours (the jaw-dropping electro-closer “Making Progress”). No, the Electric Six haven’t crafted a masterpiece, but each new disc shows them evolving and developing into one of the most reliably consistent rock groups out there today. Just you wait for their Greatest Hits package—it’ll prove that Valentine and co. are far beyond the “one hit wonder” tag ...
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