It would make sense for “Starts Off With a Bang,” the leadoff track to the new Mobius Band EP, City Vs. Country, to actually start off with a bang. But, you know, it doesn’t. It starts off with a blip, some drum machine beats and electro-drones. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But a bang, it is not. Mobius Band isn’t much of a “bang” kind of band at all, actually. They play mid-tempo electro-influenced rock, and they do it well. But don’t expect any explosions, because City vs. Country is a subtler, more sophisticated experience.
“Starts Off With a Bang” sounds like a Postal Service remix of an Interpol song, which probably, somewhere on a white label release, does exist, at least as a mash-up. But as of yet, I haven’t found it. Nonetheless, that’s what this song sounds like, a computerized shoegazer pop track that’s catchy and pleasant and ends with the seemingly ironic refrain, “so sick of music.” But the thing is, it’s just so fun and enjoyable, you couldn’t possibly get sick of it. Hence the irony.
Okay, well, I’ll stop explaining literary devices to you and get on to the record. “Multiply” is a drone-laden, fuzzy pop track with a driving bassline and an irresistible melody. “Year of The President,” by comparison, is a more subdued song, with reverb-heavy guitars and a more playful, walking bassline. But deeper within the song, things get louder and denser, as the volume gets cranked up and more instruments are gradually added to the mix. A little synth here, some xylophone there, and you’ve got one heck of a rock song. More bleepy synthesizers snap, crackle and pop into the intro of the title track, a soaring, upbeat rock anthem fit for modern rock radio, were this talented trio to be so lucky to have a DJ play it. And “I Had a Very Good Year” closes the disc with more drum machine beats and a laid back, moody guitar drone, before a nigh-industrial beat and driving distorted chords start up, making way for a powerful chorus.
Mobius Band is a bright new talent in indie rock, though I, personally, know very little about them. What I do know is that they’re good. City Vs. Country packs a lot of substance in not a lot of songs, though at 22 minutes, it offers a reasonably lengthy listen. Each song is a winner, which suggests that there’s high potential for an outstanding full-length.
The National – Cherry Tree
Interpol – Interpol
The Postal Service – The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.