People may naturally assume that, to be so prolific creatively, to produce a full album a year and complete all their touring commitments, it really must be a case of quantity over quality? And sure over the years, the band have dropped a lot of their overtly blatant ridiculousness, but having spoken to front man Dick Valentine, it’s interesting to learn that, despite him being very much the face and voice of the band, it’s very much a group effort. Each member of the band in fact writes three or four songs for each album cycle, resulting in a lot of time being saved and more importantly, a rich tapestry of differing styles and influences shaping each and every record. With that in mind, we’re about to delve into album number FOURTEEN; “Bride Of The Devil”…let’s get hitched…
With Dick’s typically dry-humour we open up with “The Opener” and I do like it when things get to the point it has to be said…with its subtle distortion and sludgy riffs, accompanied by plenty of vocal wails, plus Dick favouring his gritty, higher pitched delivery here, almost channelling an AC/DC-esque style, it’s an intense but enjoyable start. This actually carries through the first half of the album with some truly solid cuts from E6, keeping momentum going at a steady but satisfying pace…tracks like “You’re Toast” musically slowing things down for the most part, opting for a semi-blues rock offering, with Dick’s vocals full of piss and vinegar, to a degree akin to something CLUTCH might produce, which is always a good thing, while “(It Gets A Little) Jumpy” is a quaint little acoustic number, full of smooth melody and Summery hooks; it really is a lovely little track.
The second half of the album however….sadly; doesn’t match the same quality. It exceeds it! It honestly just gets stronger as it goes on and seriously, the band is on top form here…”Hades Ladies” saunters in with its gravelly rock ‘n’ roll vibe and deep groove; full of swagger and confidence…the title track utilises more of a simplistic synth-based hook layered within some classic rock influences, especially the brief solo which would easily please fans of THE DARKNESS for example, before album highlight “Witches Burning” delivers some classic E6 with its bluesy guitar licks and quality riff-work with an anthemic chorus…this is quality.
The album DOES drop the ball slightly with its closing track “The Worm In The Wood” as the sudden drop in tempo isn’t so much of a come-down as a let-down, with the latter half of the album getting you pumped up, hoping for an explosive climax. The tinny almost tropical guitar’s giving off an almost CHRIS ISAAK vibe which is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it can’t help but feel ever so slightly anti-climactic. Overall however that’s a minor annoyance that doesn’t take away from what is admittedly a superb album…fourteen albums in and Electric Six are still as consistent and reliable as ever, on this instance maybe even more so, as it’s one of their strongest collection of songs in a few years now…if I may paraphrase the great BILLY IDOL…it’s a nice day for a white wedding; it’s a nice day to, start listening to Electric Six again.