[18 September 2007]
On their full-length debut, Cleveland trio Mystery of Two move quickly through a gutsy set of ten tracks. Their ability to establish instrumental solidarity and utilize their sonic quirkinessis is likely to distinguish the group from other indie rock acts. Much of the material written about Mystery of Two mentions their being influenced by and connected to fellow Clevelanders Pere Ubu (two of the band’s members also play in the band Home and Garden which features several of Pere Ubu’s original principals). At times, however, the group’s guitar-driven, accented attack is also reminiscent of groups like Kings of Leon (especially on “Quick”) or Built to Spill. Casual listeners may very well base their opinion of the band on Ryan Weitzel’s, cavernous, husky, take ‘em or leave ‘em vocals but the true mark of the album is the band’s capacity to play expressively. On their best tracks—songs like “Always Someone” and “Pitfalls”—the band definitely displays their comfort in undertaking a variety of textures, tempos and dynamics. Mystery of Two belongs to a breed of band able to sound disheveled and incredibly tight all at the same time. There’s nothing revolutionary about what Mystery of Two does on this album but it’s a great change-of-pace type record that showcases the potential this band has to carve out a distinct place for themselves in the independent scene.