There are bands and albums that are near and dear to my heart right from track one, and often for reasons that have less to do with the music itself, but rather the personalities of the musicians, or the risks they take musically. Mythical Motors is a band without fear – there simply is no real way to compare them to anything else out there.
Mythical Motors is part retro Nu-wave, part Glam-rock edge, part “quirky-fun” rock, but all party. There is a distinct grit to the recording, and it seems so raw and un-filtered. The rock purist in me is tickled pink by such true sound – unpolished, not over produced but not lacking either.
Among the stand-out tracks on Full Breathing Costume, “Simulcast Soul” – a fun, and bouncy track that is a perfect example of the recipe for “Great Garage Rock.” Distorted guitars push this track right from the start, joined with bass laying down solid grooves that let the vocals ride over the top without needing throat-thrashing screaming to tie it together. As a drummer, I appreciate the solid driving rhythm and jazzy transitional fills that prove without a doubt this band is made up of members very well-suited for one another.
Mythical Motors isn’t a band with complex layers to sort through, rather it’s rock that wears its heart on its sleeve. What you hear is what you get, and I would be surprised to learn that there was more than a minimal amount of multi-tracking on this recording. However, what that tells me is that they may play together live very well.
The thing I feel I’d like to hear more of is vocals. There is a noticeably demure and graceful quality to the singing throughout this collection, but I feel like there is still some restraint. On the first track, “Your Days Are A Blast” the vocals are featured prominently and come closest to pure rock vocals, but still lack some real character to them. Sure, the lyrics are sung in time, in the right key and at the right tempo, but lacking in feeling. It is as though they are being sung more from the diaphragm, than from the heart. Conversely, the use of vocal restraint and emotive minimalism is absolutely perfect on later songs such as “36th Street” and “Full Breathing Costume.”
I must admit, I was not wowed by Full Breathing Costume on first go. In reviewing it again, I found more of a nugget at the core of Mythical Motors. That being said, I believe this band has decent potential, but that this was a fairly safe offering – not too experimental, and not too elementary.
Ultimately, I feel like this is Keira Knightley, but in mukluks and a bee-keeper’s costume. In the right package, this band could put out something really engaging the whole way through. Though there are certainly sparks throughout, this Mythical Motors offering is on their way to finding a sound that really demonstrates the experience, trust and cohesion this band has with one another.