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Heartbeats and Brainwaves

Electric Six

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Album Review

Normally known for their ridiculous brand of high-octane rock & roll, the Electric Six return with an emphasis on ridiculous, high-octane synth pop on their eight album, Heartbeats and Brainwaves. Unlike a lot of their earlier work, the band seem to really be exploring the electric part of their name with a decidedly more electronic approach, letting layers of synthesizers take center stage with a sound that evokes the moody dance jams of Depeche Mode and New Order. After the late night vibe of Zodiac, the nocturnal pulse of songs like “Psychic Visions” and “We Use the Same Products” seems inevitable. While this kind of sound is a departure from the band that brought us searing jams like “Dance Commander” and “Lenny Kravitz,” what works for the album is that Valentine and company commit wholeheartedly to the concept, delving into the murky, swirling depths rather than just watering down their rock songs with the occasional touch of reverb and keyboards. It’s this devotion to the anything-goes aesthetic that the Electric Six have cultivated that makes Heartbeats and Brainwaves an album that, while not the greatest jumping-on point for anyone new to the band, will be an interesting change of pace for longtime fans of their party-centric dance rock.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formerly known as the Wildbunch, the Detroit sextet Electric Six mix garage, disco, punk, new wave, and metal into cleverly dumb, in-your-face songs like "Danger! High Voltage," which reached number two on the British charts early in 2003. Singer Dick Valentine, guitarists Rock and Roll Indian and Surge Joebot, bassist Disco, and drummer M. formed the Wildbunch in 1996 (keyboardist Tait Nucleus? joined the band later), releasing their debut single, "I Lost Control (Of My Rock & Roll)," and the...
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Heartbeats and Brainwaves, Electric Six
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