Review Summary: Tedious, dull, mind-numbing, wearisome, humdrum, repetitive, but be sure to give “Friends Like These” and maybe “Hallie” a listen.
Me and my elder sister are extremely close. There’s a special rapport between us that is difficult to comprehend. When we’re together we finish each other’s sentences, sharing thoughts to the extent that we can make eye-contact and know exactly what the other is thinking. Now I suppose this may not be that unusual or uncommon, but when both of us love music, it is a pretty sweet situation. Our tastes are almost identical, making us both able to share music and know the other will appreciate it, especially when our friends just don’t get it. It’s really pretty awesome.
Now usually I’m the one sharing music with her, if only because I have less of a life, and am a bit more obsessive when it comes to tracking down music. However, just after Christmas she visited our home in New York after a spell in Florida, and she had this song I just had to hear, one she ended up playing continually for about seven days. The song was “Friends Like These” by Mobius Band, a punchy electronic pop tune with festering synth lines and a boppy groove. The perfect driving song, it got more then its fair share of listens in my truck or wherever I happened to be listening. My sister bought the album that week, the second by the Brooklyn based group. I, less eager, somehow missed out on ripping a copy of it, and eventually downloaded it, hoping I’d be as hooked by the rest of it as I was by “Friends Like These”.
The album begins well enough. “Hallie” is a killer opener, dripping through your mind with its hooks. The steady bass line surrounded by oozing synthesizers is exactly what I hoped for from the group. A little predictable, yes, but a solid beginning. Unfortunately, other then the previously mentioned “Friends Like These”, the rest of the album is a dry batch of songs, unfit for anything but filler, and poor filler at that. “Secret Launguage” with its tacky refrain, an aesthetic chord progression wasted due to a lack of energy, comes off as gauche and tactless. The production on this one is terrible as well. Intentional as it may have been, the fuzz in the chorus is just idiotic. “A Hint of Blood” is immensely boring, possessing a weak melody and little progression as a track. Poor design kills many potential ideas on the record. On “Leave the Keys in the Door” Mobius Band grinds away a four minute trash-rock song, slightly abetted by its soft chorus. Like “Secret Launguage”, “Control” has potential at its foundation, but the walls of fuzz it grates through severely hamper the song. It has a decent melody, but is terribly executed. Where is the catchiness Mobius Band broadcasted on “Hallie” and “Friends Like These”? “Black Spot” has a refrain like a Radiohead song off of Kid A and it doesn’t fit at all, on the album, or even as a part of the song it’s in! I have to wonder what they were going for.
In the end, I feel like I may be too critical of the album, but it really does fail in so many ways. The composition is lacking. There’s little to no dynamic contrast, killing any attempts at epic phrases or powerful aesthetics. The lyrics are not even worth mentioning, and there’s so little creativity elsewhere, Heaven
just doesn’t cut it. Sad, for there are glimpses of talent and pop sensibility.