The Upshot: With crashing power chords worthy of Pete Townshend, insidious melodies that you’d expect to find on a Clean album, and an offhand energy that’d make Robert Pollard green with energy, there’s nothing mythical going on here: It’s vivid, purposeful, and NOW.
BY FRED MILLS
Chattanooga’s not often cited as a hotbed of indie rock, but man, if this outfit is a spearhead, then I’m ready for a hunt.
It’s pop, with power; “fi,” with “lo”; and punk, turned “post.” Think early Merge and Elephant 6 bands, the kind that would charge outta the gate from the get-go then, just as the pit was on the verge of forming, they’d downshift into a Flying Nun tangent for a period prior to revving back up towards a Who/GbV-like cathartic climax. Hold that thought: Mythical Motors freely admits to their Robert Pollard worship in their bio, yet it’s not so much a slavish devotion to style as it is an appreciation of how Guided by Voices so adroitly made a shotgun marriage threesome out of jangly psychedelia, high-nrg indie rock, and convulsive New Wave ‘n’ punk.
Running the Shine, the band’s ninth (!) album, is a direct descendent of those obscure early ‘70s experiments that underground ‘zine-championed groups were conducting against a backdrop of shaggy-assed prog and proto-metal, and to the utter indifference of the general public. It’s a hybrid, for sure, and in the most inspiring sense; if this record had been (self-) released in ’73 or ’74 it would surely be hailed now as a genuine collectors’ item and a latent influence upon the then-emerging Amerindie scene. Give Mythical Motors some love right now, so they don’t have to wait a few decades to get their due.
DOWNLOAD: “Place of Only Midnight,” “The Mind Skipping Pictures,” “June’s Mayhem Machine,” “Broken Indian Toy Tambourine”