Mobius Strip – Escalate

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Mobius Strip

Escalate - Left Out Records

Mobius Strip’s ten inch vinyl, Escalate, comes blaring out of the starting gates with Green Is The New Red – a searing, post-hardcore track that harkens back to the early eighties DC scene. It comes out as a surprise, not many bands are playing this kind of style these days (and was even more jarring switching from the new Menzingers album to this). Harsh vocals that are raw and sincere, screamed overtop of a low-fi melange of intricate guitar and a spastic drumming – Green Is The New Red sets the pace for an album that is parts Minor Threat, parts La Dispute and parts Kid Dynamite.

Or so you think.

They follow it up with Sixty-Seven and you’re left scratching your head and asking whether or not this is the same band. Slowing it down to a near crawl in comparison to the previous track, Sixty Seven loses the dissonant and goes for a – dare I say it – indie pop type of sound? Indie pop may not be right, but it’s much smoother, calmer and controlled with vocals reminiscent of The Killers or Joy Division. This change is so far out of left field it’s almost uncomfortable. They pick it up half way through as they re-introduce some slightly spastic vocals like older Todos Caeran but the song still feels just plain weird.

The next two songs – Battery Cage and Frontera – bring back the initial burst of post hardcore dissonance. Both clocking in at just over a minute in length, these songs are visceral and harsh with vocals teetering on the edge of a low-grade At The Drive In. These songs are fast and feverish – a much needed boost after the awkward previous track.

With only two songs left, you’re no longer sure what to expect and Mobius Strip continue to mix it up. Clean Veins follows suit in a more natural manner, with heavy distortion and a Star Fucking Hipster sound but the closer Safe just leaves a sour taste. A mid-tempo power ballad like Saves the Day and The Honorary Title backed up with “oohhs” – it is once again so far removed from the eighties hardcore sound of the band’s other tracks that it feels unnatural.

Now as a whole Escalate isn’t bad, but with two songs out of six so thoroughly disjointing, it’s somewhat hard to play the whole thing front to back.