Sep 2011 08

Electric Six - Zodiac
Electric Six
Category: Alternative Rock / Electronic
Album: Zodiac
Stars: 4
Blurb: E6 drops back into the dance groove while still clinging to its rock & roll route.


The Detroit sextet Electric Six has powered through the past decade, pushing out seven albums in eight years. From their early (and golden) days of “Gay Bar,” “Danger! High Voltage,” and “Dance Commander” to their most current album Zodiac, there has been a definite evolution in style for Electric Six, moving into a rock arena from its electro/dance roots. Recent previous albums such as KILL, Flashy, and I Shall Exterminate have Electric Six departing from the original style that launched their popularity; old fans will be pleased with the slight return that Zodiac brings, while newer fans will appreciate the grittier edge provided by the rock sound.

Electric Six is a very unique band for the Metropolis Records label, deviating tremendously from their label mates’ electronic and industrial sound in favor of blending lounge, rock, electro, jazz, and whatever else the band feels like doing into one package, all topped off by the antics of E6’s founder, Dick Valentine, which shine through the album as clearly as they do onstage. Zodiac divides its energy between rock-driven songs, electronic/dance numbers and lounge/jazz grooves, constantly keeping listeners on their toes. Fans seeking stylistic continuity are liable to wind up with confusion and/or exploded heads. The only consistent element is Electric Six’s personality; that remains constant, regardless of style of song.

Standout tracks on this album include “Jam It in the Hole” and “It Ain’t Punk Rock,” two very different and catchy songs that are both anthemic in their own rights. “Jam It in the Hole” bends strongly electronic, with dominant synthesizers and dancing bass lines; it’s a fantastic, fun, and upbeat jam that both calls back to the band’s original style and pushes forward with their new angle. “It Ain’t Punk Rock” is starkly rock in comparison (punk, one might even say), mixing E6’s goofy nature with strong, punchy guitar and drums, and extremely catchy hooks. E6 continues its bouncing between styles, moving from the playful dance/rock of “American Cheese” and “Clusterfuck!” to the electro-groove of “Love Song to Myself,” then cutting sharply to the silly lounge atmosphere of “Doom and Gloom and Doom and Gloom.” The transitions are effortless for Electric Six – genre doesn’t matter when it’s all just jamming out. The album does trail into the confusingly odd as Zodiac winds down with “Tables and Chairs” and “Talking Turkey,” as the lyrics dissolve into seemingly stream-of-consciousness babbling and incoherency by Dick Valentine, though longstanding fans of Electric Six will undoubtedly not be fazed by this.

Zodiac is a strong release for Electric Six. It may not achieve the level of fanatic fandom that debut albums Fire and Señor Smoke entailed, but it will please the crowds and pick up some more along the way. Take a break from the predictable styles and sounds of favored genres and plug into Electric Six for some impromptu and varied sound that allows everyone to keep on dancing.

Track list:

  1. After Hours
  2. American Cheese
  3. Clusterfuck!
  4. Countdown to the Countdown
  5. Doom and Gloom and Doom and Gloom
  6. Jam It in the Hole
  7. I Am a Song
  8. It Ain’t Punk Rock
  9. Love Song to Myself
  10. The Rubberband Man
  11. Tables and Chairs
  12. Talking Turkey

Electric Six Website
Electric Six MySpace
Electric Six Facebook
Metropolis Records Website
Metropolis Records MySpace
Too Many Robots Website
Too Many Robots Facebook http://http//
Too Many Robots Twitter

Purchase at…
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

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