In 2003 Electric Six single-handedly invented a new musical genre: disco-metal. Now disco and heavy metal may appear to be the most unlikely of bedfellows, but given that Electric Six’s raison d’etre appears to include the promotion of the perverse, this is entirely fitting.
This reissue of debut album Fire comes with a bonus DVD containing the often hilarious videos to the singles Danger! High Voltage, Gay Bar and Dance Commander.
Danger’s scenes of mainman Dick Valentine snogging a rank, old woman in a country mansion while various bits of their anatomy fluoresce in excitement, are gloriously grotesque. The video to Gay Bar is a tad too much for these delicate eyes, Valentine dressed as Abraham Lincoln and surrounded by adoring men in G-strings. Dance Commander, on the other hand, is the best (video and song) of the lot. Here, Valentine jumps around a house smashing things while dressed like an extra from Fame, all the while interspersed with images of his military, moustachioed Dance Commander alter-ego.
Of course, even without the DVD, Fire is worth a punt for its consistent moments of bizarre inspiration. These include but are not restricted to: Dance Commander’s abrupt switch from disco intro and falsetto voice to punk rock mayhem; Valentine’s Tom Jones impression amidst the sleaze-metal of Electric Demons In Love; the fantastically needless song title of Naked Pictures (Of Your Mother); Danger! High Voltage (’nuff said); and the rocking Getting Into The Jam which is a camper, heavier hat-nod to Kick Out The Jams by those fellow legendary Detroit-ers, MC5.
The quality does tail off during the last three songs, but if you want rock that makes you dance instead of mosh, if you smile at lyrics that contain “war”, “fire”, “dance” and “nuclear” in almost every song, or if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if there was a heavy metal version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, then this is for you. And your best friend’s mother.