Written by Puno Estupendo
I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master, the latest from Detroit's own Electric Six, keeps the vibe of the band's previous three albums alive and almost sidestepping instead of kicking. Never a band to be taken too seriously, amidst all of the silly lyrics they still manage to throw down some pretty solid rock n' roll.
On the opening track “Showtime,” the spirit of the band is right in your ear under 30 seconds but is more of a setup for the rest of the album. If you're already familiar with their music then you'll know what I'm saying when I tell you that you'll immediately know who it is the minute you hear it. The production is more of the same and the guitars and drums are just like previous efforts. Taking good guitar riffs and mixing it up with drumming and keyboards that aren’t afraid to go all disco or to the ‘80s on you, Dick Valentine's unmistakable tongue-in-cheek lyrics and vocal style will have even a jaded listener probably tapping their foot and possibly hating themselves for doing so.
The songs are silly and it’s too bad Dr. Demento isn’t around anymore to champion these guys. The best are when Valentine starts serious and then makes a switch. In “Randy’s Hot Tonight” he offers sage advice. “Dance like nobody’s watching you, Randy/ And love like you’ve never been hurt,” but later in the song, Randy explains, “If you live in Japan, your’re Japanese./ If you live in Canada, you’re gonna freeze.”
Even though sometimes it sounds like they think they're funnier than they actually are, or that maybe they have a joke going that nobody else seems to be in on, tracks like there are solid enough rockers like “Rip It” to keep you in a good enough frame of mind to kind of laugh when the ridiculousness of the song “Lenny Kravitz” comes on.
This is a very well done (middle of the road) album. Not a whole lot of growth from the band overall, but I Shall Exterminate... still sounds more true to itself than mall punk or MTV's swill, and I think that alone should warrant a listening party. While they don’t have a breakout hit like “Danger! High Voltage” or “Gay Bar,” they seem to be having a good time playing these songs and I have a feeling you can have a good time hearing them.