Heartbeats and Brainwaves
Damn, I’m excited! I never know what Dick Valentine is singing about, but it’s blood pumping rock ‘n’ roll that is just traditional enough to sound friendly, but edgy in a “Give Me More!” way. He’s playing “No Joker Poker” and eating “French Bacon” and this stuff ain’t on The Wiki, but you know it’s important and I’m ready to invade Libya if he asks. Title track “Heartbeats and Brainwaves” opens strong with Mr. Valentine’s country-sounding vocals bemoaning his girlfriend’s Carbon Based Love Slaves and Submissive Knaves as the guitars build to a decent opening break — it’s a one-song rave and no one has even broken out the glow sticks. Behind him on keys, Tait Nucleus? puts up a mix of phat bass, heavy chords, and popped down rhythm that somehow takes me back to the early albums of Sparks while still sounding like they ripped-off Grand Master Flash. Heart-pumping notes and surreal lyrics flow along through “Food Dog” and “Hello! I See You,” and we’ve transported back to ancient Egypt on “Bleed for the Artist” where “sixty-nine dudes are needed to get you in the mood.” In an earlier decade, we would drop acid and try to decode the secret messages in this mutant poetry, but today there’s no need for Lovecraft or Crowley — we’ve long abandoned mysticism for a Pee Wee Herman kaleidoscope of imagery and colors. Stick a playing card in your bicycle spokes and “We Use the Same Products” makes sense, set fire to a GI Joe with a magnifying glass and breathe the fumes of “Free Samples,” overdose on Happy Meals and submit to the neo-alcoholic “I Go Through Phases.” E6 can sing about giving shit away, but you’ll never get as sweaty shopping or screwing as you will with this on the iPod. Bonus points: these guys tour heavily and often, and only their live show is better than the disc. Go forth, and consume!