Electric Six: Heartbeats and Brainwaves

electric six, heartbeats and brainwavesElectric Six: Heartbeats and Brainwaves
Calling Electric Six a machine is a bit of an understatement. Since their sophomore album, 2005’s Señor Smoke, the band has released one album a year. If you do the math out, that means this year’s Heartbeats and Brainwaves is their eighth studio album.
The frequency of album releases would make most think that quantity has outweighed quality and there might be something to that. The band has never been critical darlings. Pitchfork voted their 2003 single “Danger! High Voltage!” to their Pitchfork500 yet never rated one of their albums over a 6/10. The reasoning is pretty apparent; lead singer Dick Valentine has admitted that 80% or more of their songs are about absolutely nothing. Listening to Heartbeats and Brainwaves, it is not a stretch to believe none of the songs on the album are about anything.
Song titles on the album include “French Bacon,” “Interchangeable Knife,” “Food Dog,” “Free Samples,” and “We Use the Same Products.” That should give you a sufficient hint as to the depth of the album’s content. But while none of Electric Six’s album’s have been weighty material, what keeps people coming back is their pop song writing and energy.
“Danger! High Voltage!” was praised for its mix of hard rock, disco, and electro. That sound is recreated in tracks like “Gridlock!” The track features Dick Valentine’s bombastic glam vocals as he stumbles through sexual innuendos over a standard disco drum beat. Luckily the musical aspect of the song are good enough to outweigh the inane lyrical content. That is unfortunately not the case for the entire album where songs like “Food Dog” has such cringe-worthy lyrics that they can not be passed over for any amount instrumental greatness.
Rating: 5.3/10
MP3: Electric Six “Gridlock!”
Buy: iTunes or Insound