CD Review: Mellowdrone

3 Records/Red Ink
By David Chiu

This L.A.-based collective is the brainchild of singer/guitarist/songwriter Jonathan Bates. One can tell from this major label debut that Mellowdrone does not conform to current trends but rather sculpts sounds according to its own vision. Box is a very moody and somber record with shades of Depeche Mode, Bowie, a little NIN, and Angelo Badalamenti. There are definitely moments when the music intensifies (“Oh My” with its ‘80s metal guitar solo, “Beautiful Day”) and the subdued tracks resonate (“Limb to Limb”). The melodies, arresting rhythms and beats, and Bates’ sedated vocals are the ingredients to the record’s appeal—no surprise that the upbeat and accessible “Fashionably Uninvited” is the record’s single. .Those who missed the dark electronic-based sounds of the ‘90s can take comfort in Mellowdrone’s unsettling and somewhat poetic sounds.


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