Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, the LA based psychedelic group, distorts the current droll reality and puts the flower-child LSD laced filter back onto life with their new release, When the Morning Greets You With a Smile. The album lays out all of the classic psychedelic styles from the pop, rock, and heavily trippy sub-genres spanning from the 60’s, 70’s, and they even throw some more modern elements to keep it digestible to the modern ear. Each track is its own ray of peace-love-happiness that shines in its own way, but even with their original nuances they never tamper with the purity of original psychedelia. They allow the listener to experience the typical “head-in-the-cloud” type of psych-pop, all the way down the rabbit hole of the more awe-inspiring curiosities of a mind-shattering trip.
“When The Morning Greets You With A Smile” a poppy psychedelic endeavor that sounds like the background music for a beach party in classic Scooby Doo episodes. The drums and bass play with that classic psych-rock style with a pronounced dance element, and the organ lifts the beat and melody into a groovier psych-dance song. They clearly know how to use their music to set a scene; the track places the listener right into that moment of walking out into the sunshine and being mesmerized.
“Daydreamer” is psychedelic pop-rock at its finest. The band recreates that eerie carnival style of melody; the drums are toned down just to walk the listener through Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel’s hall of mirrors, the organ has a vibrato that shakes the perception, and the vocals go along with the duck-and-weave style of rhythm: all combining to make up an entrancing bad-trip of a track.
Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel also provides the kaleidoscopic “less vocals, lets jam” style of the original psychedelic era. “Let Me Be” followed by “Let Me Be (Outro)” encapsulates a practice in music that uses sonic qualities and light amounts of ethereal vocals to create a guided trip into the mind, almost shamanic in a way. The first part of this jam uses the rolling-synth style with the organ to caress the mind. It uses hand drums and is heavy on the toms to tap into tribal parts of the brain, and themes embedded in the subliminal vocals with a message of “. . .set me free, set me free, set me free. . .” All of this relaxes the mind and builds into a climax which is the “(Outro)”. The band breaks, and has an organized freak-out session.
When the Morning Greets You With a Smile taps into all things psychedelic. It has groovy-pop tracks that are in a way bubblegum-pop but with heavier elements, spacey styles that resemble mid-70’s psych-prog-rock, trippy jam session-styles that coincide with the mind-bending elements of krautrock, climactic portions that fit in well with the “free-form-freakouts” of the late 60’s, and so on; they cover it all, and then some. Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel proves that the traditional psychedelic music scene is still relevant, and they do it with a slight modern twist, but are capable of maintaining a classic sound overall. Other than a few moments of this album, and its modern production quality, it could easily be mistaken for a gem from pschedelia in its prime.