By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Ask anyone from Echo Park to Williamsburg. They'll tell you irony is a dead scene.
Which is why Electric Six is only partially insincere.
Bouncing between Tom Jones-y suaveness to a preening falsetto, singer Dick Valentine works himself into a perpetual lather as he croons about sundry oddball shit. The Detroit sextet's latest tunes are mostly some form of love song, like the Sir Walter Raleigh-esque gallantry of "Transatlantic Flight" or, in the case of "Graphic Designer," a fixation with the girl who spends her days in a cubicle playing with PhotoShop.
Valentine is the kind of self-aware ham who would grow tiresome if his band weren't such smart interpreters of Top 40 tropes. The band's latest disc, Flashy, is a power-pop-laden set as indebted to '80s new-wave synths as it is crunchy punk guitars, spritzed with robo-vocals, spaghetti Western horns and sax solos that would make Kenny G a hater. And if he really likes the crowd, ol' Dick might drop to the floor and give you 20 push-ups.
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