“Fire in the disco / Fire in the Taco Bell / Fire in the disco / Fire at the gates of hell.”
So sings Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine in “Danger! High Voltage” on the album of the same name. It has danceable beat replete with cartoonish electric buzzy noises, but the lyrics, like every other aspect of Electric Six’s sound, begs the listener to ask whether these guys are joking.
Pretend for a minute these guys are serious. They bash through tracks titled “I Invented the Night,” “Gay Bar” and “Naked Pictures (of Your Mother)” like Deadsy or Orgy, if Deadsy or Orgy suddenly decided garage rock was cool. Guitars and synthesizers combine cleanly, but unfortunately music is not what Electric Six does best. This band isn’t bad, but Valentine’s bandmates, proud-to-butt rock clowns with nicknames like “Rock ‘n’ Roll Indian” and “Surge Joebot,” lack any distinctive style.
The only way to squeeze your money’s worth out of this album is to admit you kind of get the joke. How else can the line “You must obey the Dance Commander” not make you ashamed to have bothered with it in the first place? There is no Dance Commander. It’s a fictional occupation – a joke, see?
Fault Electric Six for lacking the confidence to put out a genuine album. The members clearly know how to play their instruments, but hide behind tongue-in-cheek lyrics instead, staying comfortably dumb like that other recent joke rocker, Liam Lynch.
Or just laugh along and dance in the burning Taco Bell. It’s your choice.
[Drew Mackie isn’t sure if that burning sensation is fire or just a bad bean and cheese burrito.]