Electric Six - Senor Smoke

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“We'll karaoke all night long/We'll Macarena to the break of dawn”. Now if that's not enough of a warning for you, I don't know what is.

 

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Oh my dear Lord in Heaven. That's what my Great Auntie used to say when something shocked her. Well, I'm shocked, so here goes. Oh my dear Lord in Heaven. Electric Six – Senor Smoke. What can I say except oh my dear Lord in Heaven? Well I can't say much without swearing, that's for sure. But I'm gonna try. You see, my parents read through the pages of this fine magazine the other day, to check up on their son no doubt, and sure enough I got a lecture about all the swear words I use, so I'm going to be on my best behaviour from now on, I promise. I mean, a lot of kids read these pages I'm sure, but I have to remember that there are adults reading these pages as well and I wouldn't want to offend any of you.

 

But this is going to be hard. You see, this album is just so ridiculously bad it's downright offensive. It doesn't start that bad, Rock and Roll Evaluation is an eighties glam rock extravaganza reminiscent of bands like Poison and WASP, albeit a slightly tongue in cheek version. It's probably the most likeable song on here, but whoever the hell let Chas and Dave into the studio for the piano solo deserves a slap. And what's the point, may I ask, of making your guitar sound like a kazoo? Just use a bloody kazoo! (Bloody's not a swear word Mam, honest!) Actually I lied, this is terrible stuff, it's just that it gets worse from here on in.

 

Devil Nights sounds like Kraftwerk mixed with School's Out era Alice Cooper. In other words it's basically unlistenable. Bite Me outstays it's welcome by 3 minutes and 57 seconds; which is, of course, it's entire running length. Jimmy Carter is a ballad that starts with the line, "Like Jimmy Carter, like electric underwear", which should be enough to send anybody running to press skip on the cd player but if you suffer through it you'll notice that it even contains a reference to the Backstreet Boys. I know the guy's trying to be funny, but this isn't how to do it. It's just garbage.

 

Pleasing Interlude No 1. is a lie and should be sued for false advertising. Dance Epidemic is so ridiculous it'll make you sick. It jerks, it shakes, it pounds, but it's almost tuneless and contains one of those horrendous choruses that people like Whitesnake used to create, where everyone just starts shouting. Future Boys sounds like it could work well in a New York nightclub alongside Radio 4 and Interpol, until it decides it wants to invite The Human League's keyboard player into the gang and Dick Valentine starts going on about 'making love to a dummy.' Oh dear oh dear.

 

Dance-A-Thon 2005 takes the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army and turns it into the biggest load of poo poo (caught myself just in time) heard outside of a Savatage album, and if you don't know who they are, then think yourself lucky. I've read some bad lyrics in my time, especially elsewhere on this album, but Be My Dark Angel really takes the biscuit! "You were walking down the street/You were just across the street/So I had to cross the street/And into your side of the street." Oh my dear Lord in Heaven. Give me a break, please? At least put some kind of effort into it!

 

Vibrator is a song about a vibrator. It's not funny. It's reminiscent of the Datsuns' Harmonic Generator if simply because of the amount of words they manage to think of that end in 'ator'. She might not need no vibrator but I don't need to ever hear this again, is that understood? Boy or Girl? sounds like Radio 4 in drag with Prince Charles on vocals. I kid you not. "If you don't like it you can blow it out your blow hole," he sings at one point. I hope it's not directed at Camilla.

 

Pleasing Interlude No. 2 is worse than the first.

 

Radio Gaga comes next. Yes, it's that Radio Gaga and it sounds worse than you could ever imagine. Never mind Freddie turning in his grave, I've already dug my plot and am currently writing this in my casket, rolling over and over in anguish. I never thought it would end like this, but it has.

 

Actually, Dick and co. haven't finished yet, they follow that with some ridiculous piano/voice monstrosity called Taxi to Nowhere. If that Taxi's going anywhere away from this album then I'll chip in for the fare. Finally, they've got just enough time to take the spirit of Talking Heads into a dark alleyway and treat it very badly indeed. Future is in the Future contains some more wonderful prose, "Can't sit down cause I'm a dancer/and you know that I'm the answer" and keep your ears peeled for, "We'll karaoke all night long/We'll Macarena to the break of dawn". Now if that's not enough of a warning for you, I don't know what is.

 

It has literally pained me to listen to this album. Please, don't expose yourself to this album. It's not big, it's not clever, it's just downright repulsive. I'd say it is the worst album I've ever had to review for this magazine, but I had to review a Therapy? album once. It's a crock of fucking shit to be precise. Sorry Mam.

 

Words : Damian Leslie