Review: Modwheelmod – Enemies & Immigrants

Originally published in Punk Planet March/April 2007

The packaging for this six-song disc provides an image familiar to many aspiring home-recorded acts: a God’s-eye-view photo of the duo, apparently mid-recording, surrounded by a gaggle of wired gadgets, guitar effects pedals, and waiting synthesizers. What’s surprising is how the resulting records sounds little like a basement-captured affair.

The production – from electronic-assisted beats and soaring guitars to the slick, multi-tracked vocals – is borderline-pristine and the group’s songwriting doesn’t seem to line up with the makeshift “studio” they’re showing us.
Oddly enough, that pretty much summarizes the disc, which hooks listeners on the quirky indie-rock details —  a patchwork of danceable glitch-beats, a wavering falsetto, a quirky bass line – but really is peddling textbook, chart-ready pop rock.

Most of these four-minute offerings, which grow more conventional as the EP progresses, cater to fans of Coldplay and the like, but you’ve got to give these guys credit for building such commercially accessible fare without immediately announcing any stadium-rock ambitions.

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