Saturday, October 2, 2010

Riding in the Motorcade

I know I gave you guys something special with Cloé Beaudoin's new EP a few days ago, but I figured why not introduce these guys this week too since I've been listening to them non-stop for about ten days now. To those of you out there reading from Australia and New Zealand, they won't seem as new as I might assume, because from what I've heard and read, they've been on their local rendition of Top of the Pops. That's a name I'm definitely familiar with, being a hardcore Busted fan, so I immediately know what that means. For us here in the States though, and indeed the northern hemisphere, they're fresh and new, and I can't wait to dive right in.
Motorcade are an indie/pop-rock four-piece hailing from Aukland, in the island nation of New Zealand, and as such, are a first here. I've had bands from Australia, Canada, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, and even Sweden, but New Zealand is a first. Either there aren't as many good artists there (which I highly doubt) or I'm just having a hard time finding them all (which is much more plausible), but whatever the case, Motorcade's sound is premiere for its genre, and a breath of fresh, crisp air in the realm of indie rock. Now things have become overrun with groups like Phoenix, who are just too synthe-looped for my taste, but these guys hit it out of the ballpark with their old-school indie-rock that crosses new-age prep with classic garage grit. Comprising members Eden Mulholland (vocals and guitar), Geordie McCallum (guitar and keys), Scott Sutherland (bass), and Will Mulholland (drums), Motorcade's style is poppy and catchy, with enough of a great rhythm section to give it a real rocking punch. Think Vampire Weekend's prep-polish meets 1990s' garage-pop smirk. And maybe it's just because I'm American, but the accents these guys have only add to the overall indie tone behind the music.
Riding on the success of their acclaimed self-titled and Into the Fall EP's, Motorcade have just recently finished the debut, full-length album effort in the form of Holy Moly. If nothing else this album continues the indie-pop sound that I'm really beginning to love, and that they must have hooked fans of their EP's with. Devoid of the filler and lack-luster tracks that typically surround the one or two good songs on a debut effort, Holy Moly drives from one song to another with a passion and intensity that is fun and quirkily romantic in the best ways.
The title track on Holy Moly is, more than anything, an infectious song. With a fun, dance-around beat and quirky, light-hearted lyrics that make you happy to be alive, Motorcade blast this one out of the park with a single swing. Eden Mulholland's vocals are preppy and funny, and his guitar fits seamlessly with McCallum's notes and keys. The melody in this song would definitely save it if it were drowning, but happily that's not the case. Will Mulholland's drums are a straight kickback (pun intended) to the prep-rock beats of 1990s and Vampire Weekend, and coupled with Sutherland's bass, bring a contagious dance tone to the song. With a chorus that's simple, funny, and almost geekily cute, Motorcade strike solid gold with "Holy Moly." If this isn't the lead single that brings these guys international attention, I'll eat my shoes. Rarely are there songs where everything is right, but this is certainly one of them. Most bands never get close to a breakthrough single, and here Motorcade seem to have invented the idea for it. Brilliant.
Now I don't know if this next track is from Holy Moly too, but if it's not, and I find out that they wrote this for just an EP, I'll just be blown away. "Tightrope Highway" is just fantastic. It's got the driving guitar rhythm and notes provided by Eden Mulholland and McCallum, and on top of that, McCallum's keys augment the melody of the song in the best way possible. Mulholland's voice is high and noteworthy, as Will Mulholland and Sutherland take care of the drums and bass, respectively, providing an indie-pop stage and beat for all the notes and melodies to dance around on in the quirkiest of ways. Like with "Holy Moly," "Tightrope Highway" gets bragging rights for a fantastic music video. In an age where music videos have become sex-centered and shallow, Motorcade show they can still have fun in a geeky way and make indie-pop cool to listen to. Most certainly a five-star track if there ever was one.
"Oldest Trick in the Book" starts with a great melody from McCallum on his keys, and Eden Mulholland's voice is more alternative-rock here, owing to a more hard-rock-inspired drumbeat. Besides the guitar notes and rhythm which make this song cheerful to listen to, one thing that certainly stands out here are Sutherland's bass lines which add a certain edge to the song. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand, thousand times: great bass players make already great bands earth-shattering in their effect, and here Motorcade show just how well it can work. One of the most underrated instruments, the bass gives soul to a song, and in an indie-prep-rock song like this, that only serves to make it better. Aside from outstanding musicianship, though, I must applaud Motorcade for such a great concept of a song. They prove again and again that songs don't need to be complicated and ground-shaking; if they have a funny concept that people can relate to, they'll be successful. I absolutely love what the Mulhollands, McCallum and Sutherland have done here.
I could go on and on about Motorcade. I find myself popping my head to the rhythms and melodies of "Commandeering" and "My Friends" just as much as to "Holy Moly" and "Tightrope Highway." But if I go any farther I know I won't be able to do these guys justice. Soon people will talk about Motorcade in the same breath as Vampire Weekend and Radiohead, and I can't wait to be the one to say, "Told ya so."
A solid four-piece that can pride themselves on great musicianship and a slew of brilliantly crafted songs, Motorcade are now on my radar and won't be leaving for a very long time. If you like anything indie or prep-pop, or are just looking for some feel-good music to listen to in this beautiful autumn weather, Motorcade are your guys. It seems to me right now that no sunny, autumn day would be complete without "Holy Moly" or "Oldest Trick in the Book" playing in the background. Check these guys out, they'll definitely take you for a drive.

Sounds Like: 1990s, Vampire Weekend, Radiohead, Talking Heads

Key Tracks: "Holy Moly," "Tightrope Highway," "Oldest Trick in the Book," "Commandeering"

Check out Motorcade more at: and!/pages/Motocade/11404192852?v=wall&ref=ts

1 comment:

  1. Hey man, Motocade's full length album is actually titled, "Tightrope highway" and all your key tracks are on it bar "Holy Moly" which is actually off the forthcoming album. Nice article though! Spread it!


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