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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017
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Song Premiere: "Devils Mislead" by Mythical Motors

Mythical Motors; Photo Credit: Angela Songer
2 November 2017

Mythical Motors; Photo Credit: Angela Songer

The Life Stage is the 10th album by Mythical Motors. Over the course of 26 songs, the album pays tribute to the band’s influences, ranging from Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout, Circus Devils, and the Apples In Stereo to (Gabriel -era) Genesis, Six Organs Of Admittance, Pavement, Wire, and Royal Trux.

Though the songs themselves were inspired by ’60s pop, ’80s post-punk, and ’90s lo-fi, the scope of the album (as well as the album cover) was inspired by the sprawling classic rock and prog rock double albums of the ’70s.

The Big Takeover premieres a cut off the album, “Devils Mislead”, which is the stream of consciousness tale of a woman’s triumph over evil.

There are some artists who linger in one particular vein of music for their entire career, maintaining a holding position while doling out the same noise song after song. There are some, however, who work within a broader musical landscape while also focusing on the detailed wonder within their chosen aesthetic. Chattanooga natives Mythical Motors exist in that foggy grey area between the borders of a handful of different sounds. Their work is characterized by a lo-fi garage pop vibe that feels instantly familiar but which reveals significant spectacle the longer you listen.

Drawing influences from bands such as Guided By Voices, The Clean, Wire, R.E.M, Superchunk, Bevis Frond, and the expansive Elephant 6 Collective, the band weaves a wide net of surrealistic narratives that tackle subjects including historical battlegrounds, traveling, and dream paralysis. Incorporating bits of jangle pop, post-punk, psychedelic folk, and even some hints of prog rock, Mythical Motors combine their influences to create a swirling and mesmeric array of sounds and textures.

Having formed in 2006 and shared the stage with artists like Jonathan Richman, Times New Viking, Bill Fox, Wussy, Small Reactions, Casper & The Cookies, Timmy & The Tumblers, Eureka California, Frontier Folk Nebraska, and Poison Control Center, the band has taken these experiences and used them to further sharpen their own distinct identity and aesthetic.

Matt Addison and Brad Smith first started playing together in what would eventually become Mythical Motors in the summer of 2006. They had met earlier that year at the first ever Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) solo show in Athens, Georgia. Mike Brown joined on bass soon after, and several lineup changes later, Johnny Wingo came on to play guitar.

Through a shared musical association, each band member brings their own interpretations of these collective influences to bear on the band’s music. Whether it’s a slightly skewed version of the pop that’s a direct descendant from the British Invasion of the ‘60s or the serrated post punk edges of bands like Gang of Four or Magazine, Mythical Motors explore these sounds in an expansive and fully inclusive manner.

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