Let’s be honest, Electric Six aren’t ever going to be as interesting or as appealing as they were ten years ago when they released songs like ‘Gay Bar’ and ‘Danger! High Voltage’. However, they’ve kept plugging away as a band and a decade down the line here they are with album number nine, ‘Mustang’. It’s one that’s fairly engrossing up until a point, but one which fades into the distance pretty fast. It’s a record that reminds us of how irrelevant certain bands have become actually and how quickly the industry churns out the new and barfs out the old.
On Electric Six‘s bio page on their website, they describe the album track ‘Iron Dragon’ as sounding “like both a Nick Cave ballad AND a Warrant/Poison/Skid Row ballad”. Hmm, I think we’ll be the judge of that before you bring Nick Cave into any comparisons, alright? Now, this band haven’t really ever taken themselves that seriously, from their conception they had a song called ‘Dance Commander’, where in the video frontman Dick Valentine acts like a lunatic. So, the material has to be taken at face value really, which means disregarding all those past shenanigans for this band.
On one hand, you can look at ‘Mustang’ as being a fun filled ride which goes to a number of strange places, but on the other hand you can hear a puked-up concoction of noise and general irritation really. Many of the songs feel like they blend into one another, but there are moments of catchiness in ‘Show Me What Your Lights Mean’ and such. It’s a track which could mean a whole number of things, but it doesn’t really matter what the subtext is. It’s actually just an enjoyable track which is just pretty silly, pretty much like the entire album.
Three quarters through ‘Miss Peaches Wears An Iron Dress’, it almost sounds for a second like Valentine is channelling David Bowie with his vocal performance, which is either a great move on his part or just wishful thinking on the part of this reviewer. The problem with the record is that it just feels like tosh, and it isn’t just fluff that you can admire, but actually it’s fluff that you end up willingly disengaging with because of how boringly annoying it gets. ‘Gimme The Eyes’ is typical of the album, it just ebbs away at you in that Electric Six childish way and you fall asleep, then you wake up and it’s still tediously pulsating.
‘Mustang’ is an album that you’ll start off really wanting to like and enjoy, but by the end when you want to watch paint dry instead, you’ll be wishing this band would finally just drive off into the distance for good.
Written by Greg Spencer