05 October 2018 (released)
01 September 2018
Detroit boys Electric Six are back for their 14th studio album and are almost back to the top of their avant-garde game. Their last release fell slightly short as they appeared a bit worn and tired, the afterglow of their earlier work fading away as the gavel of time slammed down. It wasn't a bad album by any stretch; it just didn't feel as good as previous material.
With "Bride of the Devil," they seem back on goofy form with their tongues firmly in cheek, and it is an excellent thing.
One thing I have always found interesting about Electric Six's music is how difficult it is to label. Always genre shifting and able to keep the listener on their toes. Something genuinely ingenious and possible to keep this band going for a long time if they desired. The only group they can be compared to is Sparks, Partly down to vocalist Dick Valentines ability to change his vocal style, how he pronounces the lyrics and the bands "throw everything at it" style of songwriting. Something Valentine himself has said he feels.
Every track on "Bride of the Devil" is different in some way. Like always, they change genres often and keep things fresh and invigorating while maintaining solidarity you'd expect from their earlier work.
It hasn't got anything that will gain them "Gay Bar" levels of popularity amongst new listeners, but there are some gems amongst these tracks.
"Bride of the Devil" is a surprisingly easy album to listen to, brimming with comical if not slightly elaborately disturbing lyrical content. At times rather ominous. Topics like the corruption within society and corporations in our present day have a presence here. While societal issues such as evil, seduction, lust, and greed all get cleverly mixed in amongst satanic metaphor alongside some very catchy choruses
Valentine's voice does sound amazing throughout. His style hasn't changed from previous work, and his sometimes ambivalent way of singing is found, but it just seems better.
Standard pop-rock guitar work covers the tracks "Daddy's Boy" and ("It Gets) (A Little) Jumpy," two tracks so infectious and catchy you'll be humming them for days. "Safety Girl" is up next, with heavy synthesizer use in-between the funky ska-like guitar. Some of the guitar work on this album is outstanding at times, primarily when working tightly with the synthesiser. Guitar solos, that to some extent, tip their hat to classic rock songs, while at the same time also somehow sounding modern and fresh. Clever use of instrumentation brings something different to the game. Even acoustic instruments are used at times, massively changing things up.
The title track is genuinely anthemic and should garnish some radio play. Heavy guitars and tight drums back up some of the best vocal work on this album. Even the vocal harmonies are very much on point. It almost sounds like a track that could have jumped out of the 80's due in part to the synth-driven sound. The bass isn't buried in the mix either and can be heard clearly, and that's true for the whole of this album. A massive plus.
Even with the high levels of distortion, the bass still maintains it's place, something severely lacking in a lot of music produced today. An album highlight and one to look out for.
Even with the bombast lyrics and overuse of metaphors, the imagery this album produced is immediate and compelling. A bleak outlook on the daily struggles regular folk suffers through.
The way it is infectiously arranged musically massively adds a counterweight to affairs, almost making the tracks affirming. A remarkable achievement for a band who were steadily declining in quality. It's possibly their best since 2011's "Heartbeats and Brainwaves and Absolute Pleasure," and worth checking out.
1 The Opener
2 Daddy’s Boy
3. (It Gets) (A Little) Jumpy
4 Safety Girl
5 You’re Toast
6 Hades Ladies
7 Bride Of The Devil
8 Witches Burning
9 Full Moon Over The Internet
10 Grey Areas
11 The Worm In The Wood
"Bride of the Devil" hits stores on October 5th on Metropolis Records.