Electric Six : Flashy

Electric Six

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 …

RATING 7 / 10