Electric Guest - Mondo - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Electric Guest - Mondo

by James Bray Rating:5 Release Date:2012-05-14

Electric Guest's debut flashes and pops with commercial appeal. Mondo is a box-fresh, clean-edit version of soul, R&B and California weirdness. It's that eager, it hits you immediately with its Nike ad grooviness. The group was founded by Los Angeles indie-scene acolytes Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton; brothers Todd and Tory Dahlhoff joined later turning the duo into a band. Taccone and Compton are as talented as they are well-connected. Through Taccone's comedy-writer brother Jorma, they managed to garner early interest from super-producer Danger Mouse. The revered Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) went on to produce Mondo lending a lot of hype, and hope, to this release.

The album is chock full of soul, funk, indie-electronica, and it's held together by a shiney pop sheen. The genre-jumping and shots of commercia appeal doen't mean that Electric Guest are without their own style or character; they sound like a souped up, GarageBand version of the 70s. Taccone and Compton are going for indie Curtis Mayfield, but they end up sounding like the soundtrack to GTA Fresno.
Songs like 'Awake', 'Waves' and 'Under the Gun' are fun and radio-friendly, but there are just far too many industry buzzwords at play on this record; it pops, it's clean, it's cut and it's produced within an inch of its life. The production is far too 'in the box', so the songs sound too synthetic and augmented. Taccone's vocals aren't bad but they're unremarkable; he sounds like an episode of Glee produced by Mark Ronson. Danger Mouse's production is aiming for Empire of the Sun or MGMT, but the end product sounds like a cross between The Stepford Wives and Vampire Weekend.The album is interesting in how it synthesises its influences to create a kind of ambient Californication. However, this doesn't stop it from being hollow, forgettable fun, fun, fun.

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