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Detroit's Electric Six fuses state-of-the-'80s funk-wave moves with garage-rock braggadocio

Wednesday, Mar 19 2003
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"Fire in the disco! Fire in the Taco Bell!" yelps Electric Six vocalist Dick Valentine on the band's current single, a booty-shaking ode to pyromania called "Danger! High Voltage." The blazingly catchy disco-metal anthem, which first garnered international attention on Soulwax's Too Many DJs mix CD, features a bleating sax solo credited to Bill Clinton and guest vocals from one John S. O'Leary, whose high-pitched squawk is rumored to belong to Jack White of the White Stripes. "Danger!" has been burning up European dance floors and pop charts since its release, reaching No. 2 in the U.K. and bringing on the usual British hyperbole over the next big thing.

Formerly known as the Wildbunch, the Detroit quintet fuses state-of-the-'80s funk-wave moves with garage-rock braggadocio. Valentine's tongue-in-cheek lyrics revolve around such vital concerns as partying, dancing, women, and control (of both rock 'n' roll and Valentine himself, according to tracks on the act's current Danger! High Voltage EP on XL Recordings). As-yet-unreleased songs include "Dance Commander," "Dance Epidemic," and the hilarious, Beck-like cheese of "I'm the Bomb" (falsetto chorus: "3-2-1 I'm the bomb/ And I'm ready to go off on your shit"). The band also seems to revel in pushing boundaries and buttons, as evidenced by such hard-driving, un-PC paeans as "Gay Bar" and "She's White." Some of these tunes should surface in May on Fire, Electric Six's debut full-length release, but why wait? You can see these leisure-suit lotharios perform them live right now.

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Mike Rowell

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