steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Mood

"What's on the Surface and What's Underneath" CD


Genres: alternative rock, indie rock

Oct 25 - 31 2004

The dark and brooding "Suburban Suit Manifesto" opens What's on the Surface and What's Underneath.  It helps get you in the Mood, I suppose - and it does a fine job.  Its melody is smooth and incredibly catchy - easily one of the disc's best - and it sets the stage for what is an entertaining, though unspectacular alternative pop disc.

The Mood's basic formula is one of drama and, well, mood.  "The Freedom of Speech" and "A Lullaby for Sleepers" are successful due to their cinematic, atmospheric natures.  The latter sounds like a cross between Sparklehorse and Radiohead.  "Numbers" and "What's Underneath" are the disc's most produced songs; each one boasts strings, while the latter also dons sax, trumpet, and trombone.  These inclusions add to the music's sweeping, dramatic nature.  In fact, "What's Underneath" is one of What's on the Surface's most notable songs - fittingly, it closes the record off.

This album is by no means a conventional one, but it will prove accessible enough to attract most open-minded rock fans.  The Mood's sound could have used a bit more variation over What's on the Surface's eleven songs, but as it stands this is still a particularly entertaining listen.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]