Molly Picture Club possesses a clear mission for its music: getting heads to bob and butts to shake and doing it with a sense of artistic integrity.
Take a huge helping of ‘80s new wave, mix it with a ton of enthusiasm, a dash of passion, a pinch of dark disco, pour over some pumping dance beats and you’ve got the band’s new self-titled full-length album.
“Molly Picture Club” is the follow-up to the band’s late 2010 debut EP “Four on the Floor.” With radio play on college stations throughout the country, the post-new wave trio garnered a loyal following with the EP’s dance-inducing songs. This full-length debut includes the EP’s four tracks and contains nine more tunes, each just as infectious, catchy and toe-tapping as the last.
The tone and character of Molly Picture Club can be summed up immediately in the introductory track, “Idears (You Don’t Dance Enough).” Multilayered synthesizers, aggressive guitar riffs, hand claps and driving percussions identify a group full of energy and determination. Throughout the album, a rhythmic backdrop from drummer Matthew Hayden provides a sense of vitality, coalescing with a punchy synth attack, guitar hooks and crisp, assertive vocal deliveries from Michael Tipton and Aniko Adany.
With the superior mixing and mastering assistance of Duane Trower at Weights and Measures Soundlab, every track on the album feels precise, calculated, clean and powerful. But the trio deserves a substantial amount of credit in its delivery of upbeat dance music.
In “Euro So Photogenic,” the band takes a darker approach to its music but still maintains its distinctive fervor. Tipton channels his inner Dave Gahan with deep vocal melodies, while Adany’s subtle vocal harmonies add a small but significant layer to the song. Thick, heavy synth progressions lay overtop chunky guitar riffs that crescendo in screaming guitar licks, creating an opaque sonic tapestry. All the while, Hayden holds the song together with forceful and precise sixteenth-note hi-hat beats.
With the close interplay among these tight melodies, harmonies and rhythm, Molly Picture Club finds a formula for success. The band’s songs also take cues from the Talking Heads, being influenced by experimental new wave and Afrobeat rhythms, but still managing to channel these influences into an enthusiastic radio-friendly format.