Mr. Elevator and The Brain Hotel - When The Morning Greets You (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mr. Elevator and The Brain Hotel

When The Morning Greets You (2017)

Rad cat records

Bands have been trying to recapture the sounds of early garage rock and psychedelic rock, for as long as those genres have existed. Some have done quite well, while others are indebted to the sounds they’re trying to recapture they often find their own voice buried under their predecessors. On their latest release, When the Morning Greets You with a Smile, Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel split the difference.

The band sets themselves apart from many of their peers, but only utilizing organ, electric piano, synthesizer, drums, and bass to capture their sound. This gives them a unique voice, musically, among their peers, and their song structures would have been at home on stage with any seventies rock band. The musicianship is also great, the band is tight and the music always stays interesting even if at times you’re left feeling like you’re listening to The Doors sans Robby Krieger. That is to say, the band does a great job of revisiting the past. Songs like “Are You Hypnotized,” “Cosmic Bloom,” and “Sunshine Daydream” are examples of this.

For me, the biggest thing to get past were the vocals which sounded like they were primed to break into “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock at any given moment. They also tend to remain within the same volume and delivery style throughout entire songs, thus ignoring chances to add some great variation to the vocal stylings on the songs. In some instances, the vocals combined with the standard fare psychedelic lyrical stylings take away from what would have otherwise been a great instrumental track.

One track where the band seems to open their sound up, if only slightly, and venture in to the garage realm of the psychedelic word is on “Fuzz Phantom” when the band really rocks out. This is the track that will make you put down your bong or sitar and get up to dance. Despite this, it still would have benefited from some fluctuation in vocal delivery or styling at some point throughout the song. The few other tracks where they do this, they end up sounding like a less interesting version of MGMT as opposed to a psychedelic band looking to expand their horizons.

All in all, the musicianship on this album isn’t bad. I would even go so far as to say it’s an album worth checking out if you’re a keyboard player or enjoy organ driven music of any kind. For anyone else though, these guys aren’t bringing anything all that original to the table at this point. The musicianship is there, once they find their voice and their vocalist can provide some variance in their delivery I’d expect to hear some great music from them. At this point however, the band is still wearing their influences on their sleeves and making no attempt to hide it.