TYLER SPENCER is a very busy man. When he's not donning his alter ego "Dick Valentine" in dance rock band ELECTRIC SIX, he's been drumming up intricate yet fascinatingly lo-fi dance moves for his side project EVIL COWARDS with old friend WILL BATES of the band FALL ON YOUR SWORD. In between choreographing steps for their live shows (they've played a total of two shows... but, oh what mighty shows they were!), they recorded their debut album COVERED IN GAS (release date: May 19, 2009 on Metropolis Records).
"I always wanted to call a band 'Evil Cowards' after President Clinton used that phrase to describe the men who conducted the bombing of the USS Cole," explains Tyler Spencer. "For some reason, I found the term 'evil cowards' to be hilarious, but profound."
"Hilarious but profound" is a good description for Evil Cowards' brand of hip-shaking, pop-electro. With songs like "My Mind is Rotting", "Please Don't Make Me Feel You Again", and "You Really Like Me" (with shades of Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech), Covered In Gas is a hilarious send-up that has a profound musical effect on the soul. But it's not all funny stories sung over shlocky schmaltz. Beneath lyrics like "I didn't know that your boobies were booby-trapped" (from "Sex Wars") and the ode to young lesbians - those "hot, flying teenage girls in love" (from "Zora and Nora"), lies music so catchy, repetitive and formulaic that it forces its way into your head.
As Spencer explains, "I can't believe I wrote the lyrics for 'Sex Wars'. It's one of those rare instances where it all adds up and I'm like, 'Wow... I wrote that!' Plus the music and production are just incredibly catchy. And the orchestral arrangements that Wills came up with on 'My Mind is Rotting' are just amazing."
CLICK THAT: Evil Cowards Live at Mercury Lounge 2/13/09
Born in New York City in the summer of 2008, Evil Cowards created their debut album at Bates' own Tribeca studio, allowing them to work at their own pace. The minute that they completed the first track, the infectious album opener “Love Pigs,” the two knew they were onto something. Now that the album is complete, the band has put their focus on their live shows, which, as mentioned earlier, include "well"-choreographed dance moves.
"We probably did three rehearsals where we came up with the choreography and another three or four to practice, practice, practice," he says. "I felt very Julliard."
The band’s live performances over Summer 2009 promise to be as entertaining as the record itself (they recently played their second show earlier this week opening for Electric Six at NYC's Bowery Ballroom). Tour dates to be announced shortly.
Electric Six, on the other hand, are on the last few tour dates in support of their latest album Flashy. They are also currently working on their next album (due out October 2009).
"I think for now Evil Cowards could be called a side project," explains Spencer, "but in the near future, Electric Six will need to stop touring as much as it does. I think that Evil Cowards could become my main focus since it's just me and one other guy and based in the town I live. I know that, for now, Electric Six is my gravy train, so I'll do it as long as I can put one foot in front of the other and collect a paycheck."