It’s Electric Six album time again; by my count Human Zoo is project number eleven from Dick Valentine and his boys. Like all Electric Six albums it’s packed with high energy music and vaguely incomprehensible lyrics and an attitude that can best be described as “attitude.” Is Valentine out to change the world like Dylan or Bono? Not with lyrics like “I need a restaurant” or “I’m gonna make you beg for it.” Rather, this is something to put a party in motion or to keep you awake on a drive through the flat part of Colorado.
Opening track “Karate Lips” bludgeons you with a chanting, stomping guitar line laid down by either Valentine or maybe Johnny Nashinial. Here he sings about “five o’clock woods / it hurts you more than it huts me.” I can buy that even if I have no clue as to its inner meaning. The following track “It’s Horse Shit” announces “The numbers don’t add up” which is either about love or corporate accounting. There’s a whisper of politics with “Gun rights” and even more with “I’ve seen Rio in Flames”; here a symphonic synthesizer (by “Tait Nucleus?”) slows things down. Why? Because you can’t just sonic assault your way through an album without tiring us older fans. One last noteworthy track is “(Who the Hell just) Called my Phone?” It’s grinding bass (Smorgasbord) and marching drums (Percussion World) leads a high energy assault on the dance floor. While this collection lacks the hit power of Senior Smoke or Zodiac it’s a worthy effort and sure to get you up on your feet.