Staying current 

No one will ever accuse Electric Six of being too serious. The Detroit sextet’s shimmying dance rock is as lighthearted as it is lively. Their spirit recalls the movie “This Is Spinal Tap” in that singer Dick Valentine delivers the lyrics with macho mock seriousness.

In 2003, Madness ringleader Suggs caught an Electric Six gig and, afterward, told Valentine, “I’ve always believed there’s something to be said for being vaguely intellectual.”

“That was years ago, and it’s still the highest compliment I’ve ever been paid,” Valentine said. “Total nail on the head.”

Electric Six achieved a jolt of fame when its 2003 debut produced two hit party-funk singles, “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar.” That satiated the mainstream’s appetite, however, and the act was dismissed by many as mere novelty.

But the only novelty is how uncommon a sense of humor is in rock. The group has continued to release fine music, and at a pace that would make most bands’ heads spin: roughly an album a year. Its latest, “Heartbeats and Brainwaves!,” due Oct. 11, maintains their winning streak of spunky, synthaddled, sugar-pop anthems.

The albums have less and less of a plan.
—Dick Valentine

“The albums have less and less of a plan,” said Valentine. “This is the first one where we actually had no songs written ahead of time. But we kind of knew that we wanted to make it synthier.”

The big dance beats are indeed more prominent, but the whole effort possesses a crisp bite that jumps out of the speakers. After spending most of the summer sitting around, Valentine’s anxious to get back on the road. He loves the structure and vibe of touring, and is particularly looking forward to tonight’s show at Opolis in Norman.

“We do generally love Oklahoma City and Norman,” he said. “We actually considered moving to Oklahoma City back in the day. We were disillusioned with Detroit and our drummer at the time thought it would be a good idea to move to Oklahoma City and be the cool new people in town.”

The group will settle for wearing that crown for one night.

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