Since 2005’s sophomore album Senor Smoke, Detroit’s Electric Six have delivered a new album every year for their adoring masses. Some have been great, some not so great. On Heartbeats And Brainwaves, the band’s eighth album, they’re leaning heavily in the former.
From the get go, Heartbeats And Brainwaves showcases a very refreshed sounding Electric Six brandishing a reinvigorated swagger. H & B boasts a return to the electro a la previous floor bangers “Dance Commander” , “Down At McDonnelzz” and even their exceptional cover of Queen’s “Radio Gaga”. If opener “Psychic Visions” and “French Bacon” don’t convince you that Electric Six are back to their electro rock ways then we are not listening to the same album. As always, they are led by frontman Dick Valentine who is in top form throughout as he switches from croony to crazy in a “heartbeat” and escalates album number eight to something truly great. Let’s not forget about Tait Nucleus? either whose synth-work here brings the concept of Heartbeats And Brainwaves to life.
For me, Electric Six has always been a modern band who are the definition of “rawk” (Think of it as a combination of “Raw” and “Rock” i.e. Eagles of Death Metal) but make no mistake, synths or no, Electric Six still bring it especially on “Gridlock!” and the J. Geils Band sounding “Hello! I See You!”. Elsewhere there’s the ’80’s tinged “The Intergalactic Version” and “It Gets Hot” which could give some of today’s top hip-hop beats makers a run for their money.
Heartbeats And Brainwaves is a real diamond in the rough. It comes out of nowhere (like most new Electric Six albums… ) and takes you on a raucous (and surprisingly cohesive) joy ride for a solid, fun-filled 52 minutes. If you were expecting anything else from Electric Six then you’re obviously at the wrong party.
Heartbeats and Brainwaves is out now on Metropolis Records.
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