Album Review: Electric Guest – Mondo

28 June 2012 | 12:43 pm | Rick Bryant

At its heart, this is a pop record that has swagger and style...

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Though the formation of Electric Guest was a long time in the making, the splash this LA-based outfit have made in their short life has been significant. Comprised of Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton, Electric Guest mix soul, pop and funk in a manner that barely stretches any of those genres but combines them with such ease that it's hard not to get swept up in it all. Mondo even boast Danger Mouse as producer, an occurrence that abets any release but adds particular intrigue when it's a band's debut.

First single This Head I Hold is a simply perfect piece of jacked-up soul that showcases Taccone's outstanding voice. It could quite easily belong to a '70s chanteuse, such is his ability to skillfully manipulate high octaves, while follower Under The Gun has an opening verse that's strikingly reminiscent of Michael Jackson. Make no mistake – this is vocal work right out of the top drawer. There are flashes of Phoenix throughout but especially on Troubleman, a smooth piece of pop that runs to almost nine minutes, while The Bait oozes Raphael Saadiq's latest output. While comparisons here abound, it is not a slight against what is a very accomplished record; it simply evidences a band that have all the elements in place but haven't had the time to work them into something totally fresh (it's worth noting that most of these songs were written by Taccone some years ago).

At its heart, this is a pop record that has swagger and style, and it points to a future that has the potential to produce something very special.