Complete with a brand new evil generation, Electric Six are back with new opus "Senor Smoke" -- their successor to their top debut album "Fire". It has been two years since my friends first started screaming that they wanted to "take me to a gay bar". Although flattered, I must confess I hadn't the slightest clue what they were on about at first, but the disco stylings of Electric Six finally found me, and most of the nation.
With the chart success of "Gay Bar" and "Danger! High Voltage" in mind, there is a definite fear when approaching this release that they may simply try to rehash past triumphs. So many acts seem content to continually stock the industry conveyer belt with albums comprised of one truly original single and a plethora of filler, which makes "Senor Smoke" such a refreshing listen. Although this is unlikely to win any awards for artistry, it reflects a progression within the band that seemed wholly unlikely.
Electric Six haven't abandoned the disco funk that got them known, but have unlocked a willingness to push the boundaries of their music, here taking a darker and more macabre route to the charts with a variety of left-field turns. "Vibrator", the first track lifted from the album, is a slightly lifeless choice of a single though it jangles along with enough joyous enthusiasm to keep you interested, happily emphasizing the humour at the root of the band. "Devil Nights", on the other hand, is a supreme trip through acid infused pop funk, front-man Dick Valentine proclaiming it is "unlike anything we've ever done before."
On the whole, the album lacks any clearly defined singles but is propped up by a distinct lack of filler, almost every track maintaining a decent standard worth your time. There is also a great little gift from the band, aimed at their older fans but ready to be loved by allÖ a rather infectious and downright amazing cover of Queen's "Radio GaGa", that alone is cause to get excited and although you won't be sent into orbit by "Senor Smoke", you may still get a bit of sun stroke. No killer, but no filler!
Writer: Dave Hardwick