One Hundred Flowers’ debut album, Mechanical Bride, is an assortment of indie-pop songs that are kept simple and enjoyable. Coming from the “Live Music Capital of the World,” the Austin, Texas band demonstrates that they are no strangers to creating a good, concise song. They show a mastery of creating music that sound deceivingly simple, but a closer listen reveals complex layers that give the songs a certain level of depth without overcomplicating the music.
The album begins with the bouncy “Rat Trap,” which gives us an immediate insight to the complexity of these seemingly simple songs, with the catchy bassline, various guitar riffs, keyboards and other noises you can catch if you are attentive. The third track and highlight of the album, “Three Dresses,” provides a refreshing change to the indie-pop genre that has becoming too comfortable and unexciting. The album remains consistent in its quality and in its style. “You Really Must Accept” allows us to appreciate the vocals, especially the dynamic created by the male and female voices singing in unison. “Middle of the Road” and “Echos Diminished” further support the argument that this band can use a wide variety of instruments to create an interesting and fun experience that remains engaging to the listener.
You have to give One Hundred Flowers credit for taking the approach we usually hear in simple indie-pop, but resisting the comforts of the genre by using layers of sound that any careful listener will be able to appreciate. The one thing that I am hesitant about is that I fear they may be a bit too overproduced. Even though good production can help highlight the layers of their music, which is one of the album’s strengths, there are some sacrifices made. For example, the version of “The Night, The Day, The Night” that we find on Mechanical Bride loses some of the charm that it had on their debut EP, The Taiga in Spring. However, this album serves as proof that this band is capable of making good indie-pop. Their songs are charming and simple without falling into the simple formula of the genre. This is not the last you will hear of these guys. Mark my word.
–Enrique Lemus, host of Moose Trax, Monday 10pm-12am