The first track on I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me from Being the Master is called “Showtime.” A single guitar picks out an upbeat melody that is supplemented with a thumping bass drum and the vocals of Dick Valentine. There are various references to condiments, a piano solo, and the revelation that Mr. Valentine is filled with hate. Then the clarinet kicks in to provide a bridge to the next fifteen songs on the album. The effect is part Bee Gees with a little Frank Zappa with a dash of Dr. Frank N. Furter for good measure. The album is loud, kinetic, at points confusing and somewhat offensive while also being inherently danceable. In short, the members of Electric Six have delivered their usual brand of mayhem.
As with most albums this expansive, I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me has its highs and lows. The stronger material seems to be frontloaded. “Down at Mcdonnelzz” and “Dance Pattern” are both obscenely catchy disco-fusion numbers made even better by the degree to which Valentine sells the vocal. When he says that his dance pattern is important, there is no hint of irony. Even if the task at hand is basically crafting a tasty groove with which to assault the dance floor, the seriousness that Electric Six gets down to business with is heartening and a little bit tiring. At the end of the album, when “Sexy Trash” and “Fabulous People” began to grate on my nerves, perhaps it speaks not to the lesser quality of the compositions as much as my own inability to party at a level as consistently manic as the band’s. Sample I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me from Being the Master if you will, but be warned that it is not for the faint of heart.