Listen Up: Wednesday May 23, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Mooney Suzuki

Electric Sweat (Gammon Records)

By Matthew Smith

There’s been a musical revolution brewing beneath the mainstream surface these last few years. But just like during punk’s early days, “sheeple” remain too anesthetized by the musical embalming fluid pumping out of the radio to notice. Expect them to — maybe — catch on several years down the road. Thankfully, the more discerning need not wait.

Electric Sweat, Mooney Suzuki’s sophomore effort, is as good a place as any to start. The New York band, named after two members of the experimental ’70s German band Can (whom they, incidentally, sound nothing like) deliver the goods by the truckload.

To list the band’s sound (punk, surf, soul, and Mersey beat to name a few) would require a few extra pages of text we don’t have here. Unlike the good-yet-overrated Strokes, however, the MS sound is vibrant, not glaringly obvious. Even better, the album offers a variety of instantly catchy tunes, a rarity in these soundalike times.

With their head-shaking melodies, “Natural Fact” and “A Little Bit of Love” recall the 1964 British Invasion sound but with louder guitars. “It’s Showtime Part II” could be the Isley Brothers backed by the Yardbirds. playing a frat party. Those guitar blasts punctuating dance-happy soul vibes positively demand repeat listens. Sweet soul music also appears in the melancholy ache of “The Broken Heart.”

Electric Sweat may not break new ground sonically, and the band is still searching for its voice, but the disc could still be a classic. Anyone missing the way music used to fill the soul with joy needs to buy this c.d. today and bring it all back home.


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