Album Review: Electric Six- “Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres”
I’m gonna level with you, the only Electric Six album I’ve ever heard (before this one) is ‘Fire’. I know that means I only listened to them when they were popular but, you know, I can’t be exposed to everything. I’m not some sort of all consuming culture sponge. So get offa my back, yeah?
Well, the press release says “Electric Six changes more frequently than change itself.” I can only assume this refers to their lineup, because unless the intervening years have seen them flow effortlessly through genre after genre, bending each one to their musical whim in a show of artistry only bettered by David Bowie and his contemporaries, only to return to their origins on their latest record, I can’t see what else it refers to. Because they sound exactly the same as they did thirteen years ago.
The good thing is, there’s nothing wrong with Electric Six sounding the same because they can still write a tune when they want to. Lee Did This To Me, (Be My) Skin Caboose and excellent closer Space Walkin’ are shining examples of this. The problem is that quite often the songs are lacking something, and rely heavily on singer Dick Valentine’s charming and unmistakable vocal stylings, or an amusing turn of phrase. Like this extract from The Number of the Beast, a lovely tune about maths, when Valentine laments “I need an abacus, cause I’m bad at this. Ain’t been to university.” Lovely. Snigger inducing. Then on the aforementioned (Be My) Skin Caboose we have “I’m bored to tears, now watch me drop a deuce”. Nothing short of excellent, but unfortunately though, it’s not enough to carry the whole album.
Despite a few excellent tunes, as is so often the case nowadays, Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres is an album overloaded with songs that just don't need to be there. Unless you can write thirteen barnstorming songs Electric Six, maybe just include ten. Even eight would be fine. All in all, a little disappointing.