We’re big fans of Electric Six around here. They purvey epicurean workout shakes of purebred Detroit American rock and roll. The band’s body of lyrics are as rich and nurturing as a set of physical encyclopedias, Funk & Wagnall’s in particular coming to mind immediately. And the music, it inspires the invention of new dances named after animals with long limbs and small brains. The band’s pop sensibility is unquestionably and quintessentially neo-classic; It harkens back to a more honest era where synthesizers were used non-ironically, whence Michael Jackson was alive and black, and Madonna’s deltoids were virgins of bionic augmentation.
Tyler Spencer (AKA Dick Valentine) of Electric Six has started a new band with William Bates of New York’s Fall On Your Sword. They call themselves Evil Cowards. Their album is entitled Covered In Gas. As I previously mentioned, we are huge fans of Electric Six, so we acquired this album enthusiastically. We’ve been listening to it often for a month or so, and are now at the point where we are emotionally prepared to talk about the experience.
I’m going to level with you. My first impression of this album was very similar to my more mature impression of Sexy Trash, Electric Six’ collection of b-sides and throwaway tracks, some of which are, quite honestly, considerably silly. However, Covered In Gas’ production is much more refined, and all of the hooks are this particular band’s top shelf wares, so I found myself indulging despite my initial assessment.
Ultimately, however, there proved to be much more than meets the eye with this album. I dare say that pound for pound, these lyrics are some of the most amazing that Spencer has ever penned. I do dare.
For example, Sex Wars:
We were fighting for a perverse future, for every man, woman, child and computer. And we had our instructions, so we marched into the fray, where I sampled your love suction and you showered in my spray. And you didn’t know who you were shooting at. I didn’t care that your boobies were booby-trapped.
We were all in this together, it was just like Vietnam. Except with a whole lot more leather, and a whole lot less napalm.
Or how about You Really Like Me:
Give me the night. Give me money. Give me more, more more. Let me set the world on fire like there was no Al Gore. I’ll be trashing regulations everywhere that I go, and I’m mashing my potatoes like I’m from Idaho.
I’m making it look easy when it’s anything but. I’ll make you open up your wallet while your pie-hole is shut.
The song Soldiers Of Satan actually compares soulless bodies to “rainbows without Roy G. Biv.”
But just as Representative Barney Frank is much more than just a pretty face, and just as Tony Danza is much more than simply the tri-state area’s second most respected Boss, Covered In Gas brings much more to the table than genius lyrics. Any skeptics who may have this pegged as turkey bacon to Electric Six’ real deal may just be missing out.
Sex Wars brings the dance-off, and there are several outstanding Evil Cowards cuts that contend with the Detroit pork on all fronts, such as the orchestra piece My Mind Is Rotting, and 500 Ways:
There are also a bunch of amazing live videos on YouTube if you’re the type to get seconds from the sample kiosk.
Electric Six are readying their sixth studio album, entitled Kill. In the meantime, Evil Cowards’ Covered In Gas is truly an undeserved gift.
Reviews published prior to February 23, 2015 used a 1-5 star rating system.