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Electric Guest: unique electronic music

Courtney Eckerle | Monday, April 30, 2012

 

With electronica-tinged songs that draw from almost every genre, “Mondo” is an interesting enough project to catch almost any music listener’s ear. The full-length debut from Los Angeles-based duo Electric Guest has a range and appeal that is wonderfully unusual for the electronic genre. 

Producer Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse, proves himself yet again, taking this band’s unique and catchy sound and giving it true mass appeal. It’s a quality that makes them an act to look out for on the charts.

Comprised of singer Asa Taccone and band mate Matt Compton, Electrcic Guest’s project sprang from the mind of Taccone, brother of Jorma Taccone from The Lonely Island. He spent years amassing ideas for “Mondo” while producing hits for the “Saturday Night Live”-sprung band like “D*ck in a Box”. 

Intro song “Holes” has great radio power and is Billboard Top 200-worthy. Success by Gotye, a similar act, has paved the way for Electric Guest to have the radio play that will give the band the same mass appeal. The song is slightly reminiscent of The Postal Service with its high-tech, spacey feel and syncopated beats. 

The strongest track is “The Head I Hold.” Borrowing a Temptations-esque smooth and effortless falsetto voice from Motown, the song has a sweetly urgent melody that makes it insanely catchy. A dainty tickle of the piano keys starts the song before it is kicked off with a staccato drum that merges into a melody begging to be danced to. 

“Amber” is almost folksy, with Taccone’s crooning and storytelling within the song. A tale of woe that one can groove to, it sounds like Ryan Gosling’s character in “Drive”: specifically alone, outcasted and undeniably talented. 

First single “Under the Gun” merges into hip-hop characteristics with its intro, and the music video for it is a fantastic ‘Napoleon Dynamite”-like montage of odd dancing auditions. It also doubles by acting as a metaphor for the journey Taccone had to take to tackle his fears about this pet project. 

“American Daydream” is a dark, obsessive tale of love gone wrong. The music video for the track displays this, with Taccone beaten and bruised, going through a swanky Los Angeles party-gone-wrong, as he circles the edges as a wannabe lover. 

The idea of the video is completed with a torn button-down and brooding beard stubble –  just enough crazy-eye to do the trick. With a humorous touch reminiscent of most Lonely Island videos, Taccone spends most of the video leaping at people like Cady Heron in the cafeteria in “Mean Girls.”

Electric Guest creates a soul that is difficult to find in the sometimes-devoid electronic music world. It is a rare band that does unique music so well it sounds familiar, and “Mondo” is an album that is already begging for a follow-up. 

Contact Courtney Eckerle at cecker01@saintmarys.edu