Electric Guest : Mondo
At what point does a celebration of cheesiness break the bounds of what it’s celebrating, and become something stronger, deeper and more profound? That’s an excellent question, and Electric Guest, a band from Los Angeles who have just released their debut LP Mondo, might just be the ones to answer that conundrum.
Comprising Matthew Compton, Asa Taccone (whose brother Jorma came up with the charming Saturday Night Live ditty Dick In A Box – so take from that what you will) and brothers Todd and Tory Dahlhoff, Electric Guest (featuring the one and only Danger Mouse in the producer’s chair) have created a record that celebrates – sometimes to an almost alarming degree – the catchy, upbeat and, yes, downright cheesy sounds of mid-‘70s to mid-‘80s FM adult-oriented “yacht rock”. And it is, in all truthfulness, a mighty thing indeed.
Where to start? Holes kicks the proceedings off with lo-fi keyboards, deep bass grooves and a certain MGMT-esque tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, whereas Under The Gun, with its tinkling piano, space effects and sing-song chorus bring to mind what would happen if Georgio Moroder and Hall & Oates had a love child. Awake shuffles brazenly between feel-good R&B, fuzzy disco and ‘80s synth-pop; and the epic eight-minute long Troubleman reminds me of something Kenny Loggins might have written at the peak of a fevered magic mushroom dream. It’s all quite wonderful, and the rewards of repeated listening are bountiful.
Equal parts loving tribute and calculated emulation of the glory days of FM pop, Mondo does what it says on the tin. Is it deep or profound in any way? No, not really. But hell, can you groove to it? The answer to that is an emphatic yes. For at the end of the day, Electric Guest have created a piece of work that takes all the disparate influences of hip-hop, disco, contemporary adult pop and soul and then makes the result all its own.
Highly recommended. I just cannot stop listening to this.
BY THOMAS BAILEY
Best Track: Awake
If You Like This, You’ll Like These: DANGER MOUSE, MGMT, LOGGINS AND MESSINA, HALL & OATES
In A Word: Cheese