VPI HarmonyJune 25, 2013 Mexican Summer
The debut album from the Atlanta-based five-piece, Mood Rings, is certainly not easy to pigeonhole. Shifting seamlessly from taut post-punk to lush 60s balladry, and starry-eyed guitar pop to moody guitar squall, VPI Harmony is the sound of a band meticulously studied in their influences, and unafraid to expand, combine and re-imagine the sounds of their musical loves into their own signature package. Take for instance the way album opener “Dark Flow”, whose lilting guitar notes and stately drum rolls drifts with floaty falsettos straight into the tightly wound, breathy lead single “Pathos y Lagrimas“, replete with glossy guitars and an air of sexy mystery. Or the way in which “Promise Me” switches from peppy, Sarah Records jangle into dreamy girl-group heartbreak in under a minute.
Moving from the loose, lo-fi quality of their debut EP Sweater Weather Forever in 2011, VPI Harmony was recorded, mixed and mastered in-studio at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn. The upgrade has done wonders for enhancing the band’s sound, and helping to fully realize and emulate their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of pop production. Fellow Atlantan musician, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox on his hometown buddies: “Mood Rings rip the captions off the stairs and explode moonlight panels with alcohol and mint. This is not political music. These are not ringtones. There is no mystery man in the plasma tent. The floor tom is the new kick. Don’t forget the scale of mercury.”