Though last year’s introductory EP suggested that something good is about to strike the pop world, I had no idea that it can be THIS good.
The members of The Mood Elevator were among the ones who defended the Motorcity’s pop aesthetics, before Detroit became trendy (again), with their kaleidoscopic soundscape going from essential (power)pop through something that can be described as “power-swing”, then some mid-’60-beat twang and even Faces-like rawk, to the sophisticated, moderndaze view of Simon & Garfunkel’s legacy.
Present from the Long Hard Look EP is it’s skinny-tied power-pop title tune, as well as the Nazzy monster riffage of Boycott, appropriately followed with the Weezer-ish dark hard rawk-er Watch Your Girl, with the surprising Wilson-ian middle eight.
Guilty puts the raw-vintage production against an early XTC-like kinda-robotic melody, Beginner’s Luck (video included!) takes the Partridge-quirkiness a few years further, Everything’s In Place is crystal clear “blurry”, British-sounding brilliance and they’re cheering it up with the Macca-like happy-go-lucky melody of At The Wedding and some post-SMiLE Brian looseness of Life Line.
In Something I Need the “moderndaze-Moodies” earn themselves their own Big Star-‘Fanclub card and once again, they revisit the classic power-pop rifferama in Best Kept Secret.
After spending some time as the Well-Fed Boys backing him, the time has come to make the presence of Brendan Benson in the Mood Elevator an official one.
His role of a co-producer (with the band’s own Chris Plum) and an unofficial multi-instrumentalist on Listen Up!, is now expanded to also being a full-time band member/producer, which can’t really hurt in “elevating” the band to the attention of a much wider audience, which they surely deserve.
[Released by Laughing Outlaw 2003]