On their self-titled debut The Elevator Mood, The Elevator Mood has put together an album in which they dip their musical toes into a range of genres. Rock ’n roll, Americana, jazz, dance and even spoken word. So many genres that the mood in the elevator is lost altogether. However, when The Elevator Mood sticks to its guns, the result is solid proto-punk inspired rock.
Many tracks on The Elevator Mood are reminiscent of late ‘60s and early ‘70s rock ’n roll and proto-punk. This foundation makes sense, given the band’s background. Members Michael Rooney and James Doak are formerly of The Primevals and The Jolt, respectively. Their songs on this new project are lo-fi, organ or guitar-driven and feature Lou Reed-like vocals. Repetitive chord structures and static “boom tap” drumbeats are common and immediately mesmerizing. Tracks like “Devices,” “Hard to Read” and “Hot Mess of Fun” are the most straightforward versions of this, but the band isn’t afraid to take it a step further.
The tune “Coming Back to You” shows the band diving into dance and art-rock. The lone use of a drum machine along with a funky bassline is fun, but it mostly sounds jumbled with all the other instruments. The following track, “Head Town Head,” sticks to the aforementioned repetitive chord structure, but has spoken word poetry delivered by Rooney, who sounds unusually breathy and quiet. The song finishes with a jazzy flute solo. Moments like these are bold, but ultimately can lead to the album’s lack of cohesion.
The elevator mood on The Elevator Mood is that of a busy Monday morning. It’s jam packed with ideas. The tracks are great on their own but are not cohesive enough when presented as an album. I thought the best tracks were proto-punk inspired and would be interested to hear the band dive deeper into that aspect of their sound.
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