Mobius Band
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Mobius Band

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


City vs Country EP
[Ghostly International; 2005]
Rating: 8.0

Hailing from the sleepy, made-up sounding Shutesbury, Mass. (population: 1,800), the electro-rock (more like rock-electro) Mobius Band have taken a longish path to Urban Outfitters compilation (don't hate!) buzz band-dom. But the slow build has given the three-piece time to grow into their taught and confident current incarnation. After three self-released, self-recorded, increasingly impressive EPs over the past three years, the band recently signed with those progressive beatheads at Ghostly International and this five-song EP is the first fruit of what seems like a healthy if unlikely partnership. Ditching the meandering instrumental post-rock and country leanings of past releases, the band has morphed into a trim, fleshy rock'n'blip cyborg made up of bass-pumping blood, muscular guitars, and an ever-handy sampler-and-keyboard pacemaker that keeps normal bodily functions running oh-so smoothly. Near-flawless in its execution, City vs Country is at once traditional and progressive, easy to listen to, and dificult to ignore.

Not just another group of ax-grinding guys dicking around with annoyingly tacked-on "electronic elements," Mobius Band takes its bleeps seriously and uses them economically and effectively within the intense fabric of their songs. Markedly more precise and three-dimensional than anything they've attempted, the added sonic sheen provided by a professional studio and the mixing talents of Interpol associate Peter Katis fits the band like a snug Powerglove and allows them to indulge in wavy headphone-friendly sonic minutiae. The group shows off its new supped-up sound early with "Starts Off With a Bang", which is actually more of a long, winding fuse than an explosion. Chirpy Morse code quickly gives way to group leader Ben Sterling's passive vocals. By now, Sterling has learned how to make his near-monotone drone work within his band's framework as it often adds fragility to the group's airtight arrangements. "At the start of the century my mind keeps wandering," he dreamily sings, succumbing to the futuristic Aphex-on-X bounce surrounding him.

"Multiply" slowly creeps to its distorted shoegazer crescendo, picking up all passers-by along the way. "City vs Country", the most straight-ahead guitar-rocking number, seemingly combines the excitement of new surroundings (two-thirds of the band recently moved to Brooklyn) with the disappointment of an impending break-up through non-linear observations like "The lights on the train flicker off across your face." The same contradictory emotions pop up on the last and best track, "I Had A Good Year".

"When life is so good it hurts," muses Sterling, his somber delivery adding an obvious melancholy undercurrent punctuating the hurt rather than the good. "I will cut you in half and then we'll see who laughs," seethes the singer in a rare moment of lyrical clarity, before ringing guitars and panning keyboards take the track into a supersonic stratosphere. Rumbling underneath, crack drummer Noam Schatz's crunching, processed percussion seamlessly morph into a very earthly pummel by the track's crushing dénouement.

On City vs Country, Mobius Band temper the downcast urban hum of studio mates Interpol with a bit of Postal Service machine-bop glee. The newly honed aural slickness only adds to this developing band's potential appeal and instead of getting lost inside a real studio, this rock-electro outfit has found itself-- just in time for their first long-player. - by Ryan Dombal


Having recently relocated to Brooklyn from tiny Shutesbury, Massachusetts, this buzzed-about trio have also moved beyond demure electronic experiments to a full new-wave sound that maintains their penchant for blips while adding guitar jangle and lyrical emoting that never feels tacked on. - by Jon Dolan


Brooklyn wall-rattler Mobius Band packs sound tightly on its debut, The Loving Sounds Of Static, which relies on heavy, danceable beats and loud, twangy guitars. It's a simple formula that works wonderfully on songs like 'Radio Coup,' which ropes a good rhythm and rides it, and the moody 'Taxicab,' which holds to a sparsely picked guitar, some electronic percussion, and an allusive description of the title object. - AV Club


Mobius Band [is] the latest proof point of the symbiotic relationship between electronic music and rock. After this year's well-received City vs Country EP proved an excellent taster, Static offers the band's sound fully realized. Earnest songwriting is combined with both played and programmed drums, expansive guitars and delicate electronic melodies. On 'Taxicab' the dynamics afforded by their multi-genre approach are most apparent; after being tightly restrained under a tip-toeing, minimal drum-machine cadence, the band explodes into a wall of sound, tapping a visceral source. - by Colin Nagy


"Multidimensional pop music with an electronic twist. Their debut album is an assemblage of heartfelt songs as earnest and forthright as any U2 might make, with dreamy, driving guitars and carefully chosen synths and blips." - by Jesse Ashlock


"Seamlessly wedding blippy electro-pop with hazy guitar theatrics, Mobius Band will surely charm shoegazers and club kids alike." - by Ryan Dombal


Discography

One - EP (self released)
Two - EP (self released)
Three - EP (self released)
City vs. Country - EP (Ghostly 2005)
The Loving Sounds of Static (Ghostly 2005)

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Bio

After three years of wood-shedding in the pine forests of Shutesbury, Massachusetts, electronic rock trio Mobius Band traded up: from shoe-string home recording to Peter Katis’s Tarquin Studios (Interpol, Rainer Maria); from rural Massachusetts to Brooklyn (two-thirds of the band anyway); and from their own label to Ghostly International.

These changes followed the band’s gradual evolution over the course of three self-released EPs, from exploratory composers of instrumental suites to crafters of gracefully intricate pop gems. The band’s trademark sound combines loose guitars, hard-hitting drums, and tightly-wound electronics, or as SPIN Magazine says, "a full new-wave sound that maintains their penchant for blips while adding guitar jangle and lyrical emoting that never feels tacked on." Their songs are filled with mournful refrains and unexpected textures, accented by soaring guitar lines and an uncanny cinematic sense.

Mobius Band debuted on Ghostly International with the critically-acclaimed City Vs Country EP in spring 2005, preceding their debut full-length The Loving Sounds of Static in August 2005. They've spent the last 12 months on the road headlining and sharing stages across the country with the likes of Editors and Tom Vek. Mobius Band is currently writing and rehearsing new material and will be touring in September and October 2006 - headlining with special guest Baby Dayliner, and supporting The National on the west coast.