Mobius Band | Heaven (Misra)

cd_mobius.jpgMobius Band’s dedication to different styles within the same subgenre keeps Heaven interesting, but there’s not enough innovation here to make it a truly great album. It’s still enjoyable, but not because it’s familiar. The unexpected bits make Heaven worth hearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the opening blips and high-hat to the closing synth the influences on Heaven are clear. Not always subtle nods to electronic make for an interesting, but not wholly original album.

From track to track, Mobius Band channel their influences mostly through rhythm tracks and lyrical phrasing. For example, the thin electronic beat on "Control" is extremely reminiscent of "Give Up," while the lyrical delivery on album opener "Hallie" sounds like it was lifted from old Factory Records demos.

Typically, each song sounds like one band playing songs by different groups, which adds diversity to the album. It also keeps the group from forming one cohesive sound and at several points on the album, the band flounders between trying to be someone else while wanting to be themselves.

Mobius Band’s dedication to different styles within the same subgenre keeps Heaven interesting, but there’s not enough innovation here to make it a truly great album. It’s still enjoyable, but not because it’s familiar. The unexpected bits make Heaven worth hearing.

For example, it’d be easy to channel Ben Gibbard’s lyrics or vocal style for the more Postal Service-esque tracks, but it doesn’t happen. Instead of singing about high school romance in a wispy tenor, the band sings about far less dramatic topics in a decidedly more robust voice. The same robust voice that lightens up slightly on Joy Divison-influenced tracks, giving them a less gruff and warmer feeling.

The warmth permeates throughout the whole album, which is quite a feet considering the amount of cold electronic instrumentation the band uses. Sparse, reverberated vocals and dry beats meet with analog-sounding synths, sweeping strings and angular guitars to make a welcoming album. Of course, part of what makes Heave so welcoming is the feeling like it’s been done before. And it has been done before, just not quite like this.

In other hands, this album would probably sound just like its forbears, but here, tired influences are given a little bit of a jolt. Heaven is good but it isn’t groundbreaking. At least the band shows signs they’re willing to try something new with old sounds. B | Gabe Bullard

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