Mobile Wash Unit: Tent
Andy Snyder left Montgomery, Alabama and made his way to Atlanta, Chicago, and finally settled down in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Along the way, Snyder studied philosophy, physics, and theology so when we set down to create music it should have been no wonder that he would try to blend genres. Mobile Wash Unit, Snyder’s band, released their album Tent back in July. Though Snyder comes from the South and settled in New York, it’s not so much a blending of those two areas that you find on the album; Tent is more a blend of indie-rock vocals over amateur dance production.
The album starts with “September was Winter” which sounded like a Jimmy Buffet song. Take out the “Margaritaville”, warm beach paradises, and swap them out for Andy singing about a more mainland scenario, and that’s what the song is. You can hear the calypso-like, Caribbean backbone to the song, but it doesn’t prepare you for the rest of the album.
“Second Glance” is more of a pop song, similar to something you might have heard coming out of the 60’s or 70’s. Snyder even breaks down into some “ba-ba-ba-bah’s” on the vocals which lend to that feel of not bothering to put into words a feeling that can be covered by a syllable.
From then on the album takes a turn. You can certainly sense the feel of New York’s underground and indie scenes. The music because a generic electro-dance combination that appears to be produced on a laptop in one’s home. It has a corny feel to it, similar to the feeling I got when listening to “Hippie Chicks” by Reed KD. Couple that with Snyder’s whiny, unpolished vocals; he’s got the type of voice perfect for indie-rock or garage bands but generally, in that type of music you have the music to help draw the focus off the vocals. Unfortunately, in my opinion when you get into electro music, it requires a truly gifted voice. The sounds created tend to be high, and sharp. They’re very specific, and it requires a gifted voice to navigate alongside them. To me, it’s an ocean with very tall, powerful waves and I’m waiting for that professional surfer to glide across them in apparent ease.
I can’t say that Tent impressed me at all. Snyder will have you understand that “[s]ome songs were written like an improvised dream.” I’m not sure what that means because in my experience, all dreams are improvised. I just don’t think improvisation works much in his music. He wanted the album to be a soundtrack to “travel within”; unfortunately, I think that is achieved mostly by how quickly you find yourself zoning away from the music and focusing on thoughts in your own mind.
MP3: Mobile Wash Unit “September Was Winter”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon
Mobile Wash Unit: Tent