Electric Six was a phenomenon in the UK. Their blend of disco vibes, sexual innuendos and dark sarcasm made them a unique band even by the UK’s standards. The success that Electric Six had on the UK is captured in by their album, Fire, released in May 2003. It was an oddball victory and a type of music that the UK, or anywhere for that matter, not used to. It was controversial, peculiar and at its heart, a stroke of artistic genius.
We have to keep in mind that the UK of 2003 was a different place to where it stands today. Back then, a sausage roll that was truly vegan sold at one of our high street bakeries would have made the front pages. Today we are more aware of the difference and hopefully more accepting of it.
Fire came in at number seven in the UK charts. It was it completely barmy lyrics and the videos to these tracks that really got people talking, not to forget the catchiness of these lyrics. Most people know the words to their songs, even if they do not know the band well. This is a reason why Electric Six is marketable, and their work has made its way into other niches, such as gaming. They actually provided the inspiration for Big Time Gaming to create the Danger High Voltage slot game based on one of the band’s other well-known hits. Danger! High Voltage is arguably their most unique song. It was an alternative disco production with a rocky-pop vibe that worked just as well on both dance floors and in rock bars when it was released.
The first single they released in the UK made it to the dizzy heights of second place in the charts. It was also a commercial high for the group in the UK. But this wasn’t the release that catapulted Electric Six to UK stardom. Their household name status was the product of a raunchy single that may have “out-weirded” all of their other stuff combined.
“Gay Bar” was a song that must have taken guts to release almost two decades ago. It was met by criticism for its sexuality and damn right absurdity, especially if you watched the accompanying music video. But to another group of disco-goers, its twisted weirdness was catchy and like-able – and so were the band.
If we set aside some of their weirder releases, Fire boasts a clever mixture of influence from funk, disco, glam, punk and rock. It is a combination you could never put your finger on anywhere else. However, some of the slower tracks on Fire, such as I Invented the Night and I’m the Bomb, are a showcase of the band’s calmer and smoother side.
The UK music scene has always been a place where new bands could make their mark and hope to gain acceptance from a new way of making music or new sounds. Electric Six leveraged the UK audience in the best way possible to stand out from the crowd.