Mellowdrone really link the sound of their band during tracks like “C’Mon Try A Little Bit” to their title; the mellow drone of the band in all facets of output (instrumentation or vocals). There is a little electronic/techno edge to “Oh My” which immediately draws a parallel to acts like Nine Inch Nails; the off-kilter sounds of the band that come soon after really distinguish them from the former act. Imagine Nine Inch Nails mixed with the sly vocal style of Bono (U2) and “Sex Laws”-era Beck , and one will get a rough approximation of how Mellowdrone conducts themselves during the track. The slower tempo of “Four Leaf Clover” does not decrease the catchiness of Mellowdrone; if anything, the end result of this slow-down is to sweetly drive listeners crazy.
“Fashionably Uninvited” is another track that comes off with the utmost professionality, but really shows that even Mellowdrone can have their weak moments. Sure, the interaction between the twinkling piano sound sand the vocals during the track is nice, but the overarching guitar/vocal interaction really seems contrived in that context. Mellowdrone shines the brightness with the catchy vocal lines of “Fuck It Man”; the immediate stopping off all lines of melody except for the base level makes the effect of these melodies even more pronounced. It is perhaps the strongest suit of Mellowdrone to have a slower-tempo song that has drawn out sets of vocals, as is the case with “Whatever the Deal”. “Whatever the Deal” is a track that is heavily biased towards the vocal side of the act, and has the instrumentation of the track doing nothing besides accentuating the vocals. This combination makes something memorable, and has the vocals even take on an instrumental sheen at times as well.
Finishing off the track with only a synthesizer active, the band finds a perfect way to end an impressive track. Aside from a few hints showing their influences here and there, Mellowdrone is a very innovative band in the sense that they in no way ape a style. In that sense, they are like The Killers – while they work outside of established sounds, they still come up with a product that succeeds in keeping individuals interested throughout. Why exactly this album has been pushed back is beyond me; it is actually a little disappointing, as I already want another chunk of Mellowdrone to call my own.
Top Tracks: Fuck It Man, And Repeat
Mellowdrone – Box / 2006 3 Entertainment / 13 Tracks / http://www.mellowdrone.com / Reviewed 16 December 2005