|Review from the East Bay Express Rock for Rock’s Sake No unnecessary frills
Do you like your rock glazed, dipped in maple syrup, with jelly, or plain? Mobius Donut plays “rock oriented rock”, a concept so simple, it’s brilliant. No artsy-fartsy pretentiousness, let’s just get straight to the point, eh? Works for us. The Oakland-based outfit loves pimp-slap-funky basslines, melodic grooves, and tasteful solos – you won’t find overblown odes to arpeggiation or criminal overuses of the distortion or phaser pedals in their music – just a direct approach that hangs its hat on Cindy Lou Manteufel’s evocative, sometimes haunting vocals. Manteufel has an articulate, conversational style, which means you can actually make out most of what she is saying, a definite plus. Topping her off like chocolate sprinkles are the other Donuts: lead guitarist and backing vocalist Andrea Gonzalez (who counts “every song she’s ever heard” among her influences), drummer Kerry Stamps (who admits to liking progressive rock), and bassist Kevin Stamps (who, along with his bro, used to be in a prog-rock band called The Particles). Their new sound is less ponderous and Rushlike, and more Pearl Harbor meets Blondie meet The Cars. To sum it up: One female lead vocalist, one female lead guitarist, a rhythm section consisting of two male siblings, and a classic yet contemporary sound (listen to sound clips at MobiusDonut.com).
Eric K. Arnold
February 17th, 2006 Download a PDF of this article.
Review from website Lunar Hypnosis
Dre Gonzalez is one of my favorite guitarists, ever. If you saw my record collection, you’d raise an eyebrow. Really? Out of all the Jimmy Pages, Eddie Van Halens, Stevie Ray Vaughns, Muddy Waterses and Robert Johnsons, I include a girl in a small band from Oakland California? You bet your ass. The reason why is, one day she picked up my battered little Silvertone guitar and what she played gave me goosebumps. To me, that’s a guitar player. Someone to whom it doesn’t matter when or where or what the guitar is, the music just pours out– heart, mind, body and soul. Thank you Dre. You didn’t know it then, but you made a lifetime fan that day. If there are any doubters, get this disc, go to track six, (“Old News”), crank it up to eleven, and tell me this girl can’t *play*.
Now to Mobius Donut, that “little band from Oakland”. They are: Cindy Lou Manteufel on lead vocals, Andrea Gonzalez on guitars and backing vocals, Kevin Stamps on bass guitars and “shouts” and Kerry Stamps on drums and shouts.
Mobius Donut refer to themselves as “Rock Oriented Rock” and explain this as “heavy, melodic, groove-oriented, occasionally tricky and above all, fun!” I concur. Any fan of the heyday of guitar-oriented rock can’t help but grin. Drawing from the vast, rich history of rock from the progressive 60s through the girl band post punk 80s, these songs are pleasing because they’re done right and done well. Like Noel Gallagher, Mobius Donut know how to borrow just enough from the greats to feel familiar, but make it satisfyingly their own. Lyrically, they vary from the comfortingly silly, “Big Metal Wankers” to the ferociously truthful “Orange Yellow And Blue”.
I would love to see Mobius Donut live someday. The sound is good through the headphones, but headphones generally can’t make your guts jiggle and thrum quite like live bass and snare. Guitar solos are so much more fun when they’re two feet away. Singing becomes such a rich experience when you can actually see the sweat. In the meantime, I’ll settle for this sweet collection of songs which are the perfect herald of a long hot rockin’ summer to come.
April 15, 2006
By Ginnie Moon