If there was only one band around to put the art in fart, the fun in funk, and the rage in garage it would be Electric Six. Hailing from the dystopian hodgepodge that is Detroit, America’s favorite blend of factory fallout, corruption, and suburban sprawl, it’s no surprise that Dick Valentine and his wild bunch would produce music as diverse and unpredictable as their home city. On Kill, the group’s sixth album in thirteen years, the only thing you can be sure of is the overwhelming compulsion to sing and dance, and not necessarily in a fashion approved by your local high school’s sock-hop committee.
After 13 years, five prior albums, and a countless number of shows, Electric Six is still going strong. Tyler Spencer (aka Dick Valentine) still has his growl, his falsetto, and his sense of humor intact, as he spouts absurd lines from his tour bus diaries, noting: "There's no such thing as an electric tuba/the Detroit River's not a good place to scuba," "Except for GBV and Devo/Nothing seems to redeem Ohio," and "Still got something to put in ya/But we'll have to go to West Virginia. " Since Fire had a goal of using the word "Fire" as many times as possible (933 times), there's a chance that Valentine may be going for a loose concept here.
If Electric Six were to ever grow up, would they cease to be the Electric Six? A convincing case could be made with Kill, an album that, if I were to reach, would at best is a transition album for a band that's been stuck in a rut since its breakthrough album. More likely, Kill is the first album by Electric Six to more or less abandon the band's highly refined sense of humor, and the results are horrific. If not for "Danger! High Voltage!," a novelty hit that sounds less and less like a novelty over time (if only Das Racist could stick to one Taco Bell reference), Electric Six would simply be a humble midwestern band with a great schtick and small but consistent fan base.