Thursday, February 14, 2008

Album Review: Mobius Band – Heaven

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. What better way to celebrate the Day of Love than with an album I adore?

One of my favorite things about being such a fool for music is seeing how bands I’m fond of grow as artists. It’s always a treat when a band I already like a lot wows me live or puts out an album that’s even better than I was hoping for. Take the Mobius Band, for instance. Sure, I was already a fan of their fuzzy bleep poprock as exhibited on their debut album, The Loving Sounds of Static, which I liked bunches and bunches, but what a difference a year and change can make. Heaven is more mature, more tuneful, and way more awesome. The ten songs on Heaven danced around my head and my heart in ways I never expected.

We begin with “Hallie,” an effort in trying to catch up with someone who’s “always changing.” The song offers you everything you need to know to stay with the album for the duration: super fuzzy vocals, pounding beats, and a musical cohesiveness that still stuns me. “Secret Language” is one of the best tracks on Heaven, no mean feat since the album is rather stunning as a whole. Maybe it’s the handclaps. I do love me some handclaps. Or the insanely taut drumming. Or the line “I had one of those dreams that’ll take your breath away.” Or it’s just the overall awesomeness of the song. I heard “A Hint of Blood” months before the album was released, and was intrigued by its aggressive sound backed by a bounty of pulsating blips and bleeps. The first half of the album wraps up with “Leave the Keys in the Door,” a sinfully loud track with synapse-splitting guitar riffs and more delicious lyrics (“Darling I can’t get the stain out of my head”). The Mobius Band isn’t fucking around here, as you’ll figure out when listening to the somewhat vitriolic yet transcendent “Friends Like These.” The firecracker known as “Control” is next, and it’s smooth sailing with “Tie a Tie” (“I see people change/I see people stay the same”), “Under Sand” (“when I open the box/there’s nothing inside”), “Black Spot” (“always just a little behind”), and closer “I Am Always Waiting” (“lights go out and the day is done”).

Heaven is a ridiculously good album. It shows an impressive amount of growth and improvement from a band that was already pretty promising to begin with. I chide myself for not listening to it more than I did when it came out towards the end of last year, because if I had, it would have made my top 10 of 2007. Regardless, it’s an album in fine fettle, a treat, a delight, an oasis in the desert, and you probably need it.

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