Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Reviewed By Court Smoots
I feel like the first thing everyone talks about when discussing Electric Guest’s debut record Mondo is the fact that Brian (Danger Mouse) Burton produced it. And though there’s no doubting it’s a DM record, I think we should pick a few other things apart first before throwing Mouse under the bus for this record.
I noted in a previous write-up that I felt there were a number of very musically talented bands out there that lacked an impact to their music. Electric Guest falls squarely in that category, and though I feel they’re a bit better then many of the bands I’ve listed previously I still feel they lack the oomph to move me. Don’t get me wrong, this record’s smooth as all get up and I did notice myself tapping my foot along to the beat on more then one occasions. But saying that, I for the life of me can’t seem to remember a single hook (save for the song “Amber”, in which the name amber is said what feels like a hundred times), and that’s not a good thing when you’re trying to tap the indie-pop market, if there is such a thing.
I do however think there may be some rhyme to reason and rightly placed blame behind Mondo not living up to the hype machine carefully built around it. And said blame should be laid squarely on the shoulders of the hype machine itself. Asa Taccone, EG’s falsetto laden lead singer, is after all the baby brother of Lonely Island co-founder and MacGruber director (ugh) Jorma Taccone. And I have a pretty good feeling that big bro may have had something (or everything) to do with EG landing a major label record deal and maybe even Danger Mouse himself.
Maybe if Electric Guest would have instead decided to cut their teeth in a more conventional manner and released an EP into the internet stratosphere the way most bands do, then maybe they would have gotten the sometimes much needed feedback from fans and the blogosphere that could have helped steer them in a more felt and original direction. Instead they were likely playing to rooms full of A&R reps, patting them on the back, telling them they were great while feverishly attempting to catch a glimpse of Jorma’s buddy J Timberlake in the audience. The later always being a recipe for disaster.