In four years, The Mobius Band have released four different EPs, showing a slow progression from a somewhat ramshackle indie rock electronic band with influences that ranged from kraut to ambient to an almost straightforward rock trio with small flourishes of the weird touches that initially set them apart. Fortunately, their songwriting skills have also grown as well, and their City Vs Country EP (that came out earlier this year) found the group creating some of their best and most concise tracks to date.
So, several years after their inception, the group is finally debuting their first full-length release in The Loving Sounds Of Static and the results are slightly mixed. There are still some great tracks, but there are also some ones that feel almost like filler, and given that the album runs barely over forty minutes, it makes the album sag a bit. One of said songs is the opener of "Detach," which seems to have all the components in place, but just sort of spins in place with fairly plain chord progressions and an overlong second half. Fortunately, the group kicks things up a notch musically with a more driving rhythm section and some synth-laced breakdowns that seem to pile up the momentum.
Then again, the group sorta scraps that momentum through the midsection of the album with a batch of midtempo electro-ballad tracks. "Twilight" mixes some overwrought lyrics with twinkling synth noodlings while "Taxicab" finds the group remaking one of their old tracks with a bogged-down electro lullaby feel. Even the loud ending can't salvage the track, and the mopey pace continues with "You're Wrong." Of course the group doesn't have to rock out on every track, but with the aforementioned (and a couple others sandwiched in) tracks comprising almost half the running length of the entire album, it makes for a bit of a slog.
The group picks things up from there out, and turn in some of their best tracks to date. The album-titled "The Loving Sounds Of Static" finds the group locking into the honed sound that they turned in on their City Vs Country EP and the resulting track is a breath of fresh air while "I Just Turned 18" is a bit on the silly side lyrically, but still an invigorating track that draws on past memories without coming across as cloying. The album closer of "Doo Wop" brings some ringing guitars and odd time signatures in for another solid track and a great closing to the album. Based on their past output, The Loving Sounds Of Static has about 2 EPs worth of good material and another EPs worth of tracks that just don't quite feel up to par. Given it's the true album debut from the group, I'll cut them some slack, but here's hoping they can harness the strength of their short game (to use a golf term) from here on out.