MYTHICAL MOTORS: ELEVATED LEVELS
Mythical Motors met at a Robert Pollard solo show in Athens in 2006 and formed a band dedicated to keeping the vision of their favorite artists alive in a contemporary, fresh way. The quartet has been making music from their Appalachian perch ever since, having just finished their seventeenth release. Fans of Pavement, Guided by Voices, and the tasteful palette of nineties rock and beyond will feel right at home. While Mythical Motors wear influences on their sleeve, they have their own voice to add to the conversation, frequently marrying many approaches.
Elevated Levels is lo-fi, fuzzy, garage-rock with a penchant for nostalgic psychedelia. The boyish earnesty and power-pop vocal style of Alex Chilton is backed by big guitars in the style of the MC5’s Sonic Smith. The pacing is comfortable as Motors works through a series of brisk cuts, simple and powerful but avoiding redundancy. The project is a clear step forward. Having been making this kind of power-pop for their career, the band find themselves really dialed in now -- turning garage practice into a refined idea of what they’d like to produce. Going through track by track reveals how much creative real estate Mythical Motors are able to inhabit. “Preordained Sunshine” hits a little different with those big guitars as they play on axe-man status but are still getting a trippy with icy synths on “Beyond.”
The music is definitely in the vein of and inseparably tied to the underground rock ethos of days gone by but there’s no ‘get off my lawn-ing’ here. These are fun, warm, songs that will resonate and subtly comment on so many rock archetypes. Be sure to check out their live listings if you’re in the Chattanooga area, and catch Elevated Levels in the flesh.