Who would have guessed that the Electric Light Orchestra would retain influence in the chaotic, post-record industry world of MySpace-powered buzz bands? Not me.
But listening to the Selfish Gene's "Autopilot" from their new album The Grand Masquerade, it's clear that Jeff Lynne's impossibly tight, studio-enhanced vocal harmonies and hyper-arranged backing tracks have developed a devoted band of acolytes here in the Badger State.
The song's title suggests that these clever Madisonians are being ironic when they polish up the verses of "Autopilot" (a cautionary note about the dangers of wheel-spinning) with sizzling, treble-pushing sonic gloss. Then again, it's also plain that the Selfish Gene just can't get enough of twisting knobs and tweaking computerized controls down in the secret laboratory.
Whatever their motivation, they've created an impressive piece of prog-inspired aural cotton candy that'll turn the darkest souls into shiny, happy people. At least for a minute or two.
A MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. More music by The Selfish Gene can also be found on its MySpace page and at theselfishgene.com. If you're interested in listening to them live or picking up their new release, the band is headlining a multimedia bash for The Grand Masquerade at the Orpheum Stage Door on Apr. 28.
The Selfish Gene are playing at CD release party for The Grand Masquerade at the Orpheum Stage Door on April 28.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.