Electric Six: Flashy

Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine is a funny guy, and he's usually great at finding that razor-thin line between humorous and annoyingly humorous. His band has always been amazingly self-aware, and its early songs—"Danger! High Voltage!" "Gay Bar," pretty much all of 2003's Fire, really—managed to sound sincerely funny and deeply ironic at the same time. Returns have been diminishing steadily since, with each successive album diluting the formula a bit. Flashy, the Detroit band's fifth full-length, still executes garage-glam with senses fully heightened, but it seems totally uninterested in doing anything new. Even Valentine's song titles have gotten a little tame; the guy who used to drop gems like "I Wish This Song Was Louder" and "I Invented The Night" now settles for "Gay Bar Part Two" (which sounds nothing like its classic predecessor) and "Graphic Designer." The latter is actually Flashy's high point—it provides some giggles, then lets itself get dirty and skronky. Still, it's not enough to make this the first (or even second or third) Electric Six disc to reach for when goofy rocking is required.

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