Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Museum of Love is a new project from Pat Mahoney, founding member and chief percussionist of the now-disbanded LCD Soundsystem, and his long-term friend and collaborator Dennis McNany. Their self-titled debut (which is named after the Daniel Johnston song of the same name) is out on DFA, which should tell you something about the way it sounds.
While LCD Soundsystem’s 2011 break-up left a void in the lives of many an electro-head, there’s been a delightful run of ex-LCDers putting out their own work recently. Museum of Love sees former LCD drummer Pat Mahoney starring alongside The Juan Maclean’s Dennis McNany for what could best be described as what a Talking Heads record produced by James Murphy would sound like. No surprises here, it’s released on Murphy’s DFA Records label.
Otis Redding and Phil Collins have little in common save for one trivial bit: they both began their respective careers as drummers. Pat Mahoney isn’t quite in that category yet, but after watching his indefatigable energy (and running shorts) seated behind the drum kit as he powered LCD Soundsystem for a decade, it’s startling to realize that the honeyed vocals heard on Museum of Love’s debut album belong to him. Even beyond that prominent role in the label’s flagship act, Mahoney and bandmate Dennis McNany are already DFA family.
Museum of Love's self-titled debut album finds two of DFA's MVPs combining their powers on a set of songs that defines the label's style, albeit in ways that aren't always obvious. Between the two of them, former LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and the Juan MacLean's Dennis McNany have decades' worth of experience invested in this aesthetic, so it makes sense that their own music reflects it, if only by sheer osmosis. Not surprisingly, several of Museum of Love's songs recall Mahoney's former band.
Those still pining for LCD Soundsystem might find succour in the fairly prolific output of the band’s alumni. The voice of keyboardist Nancy Whang was all over recent releases by Classixx and The Juan MacLean; Hot Chip (with whom LCD shared a guitarist, Al Doyle) released 2012’s excellent In Our Heads, while the band’s DFA imprint has been responsible for releases by – among others – Holy Ghost! and the exquisitely-named Shit Robot. These albums share LCD Soundsystem’s innate sense of rhythm and impeccable taste, if not their knack for a transcendental hook.
Pat Mahoney has been kicking around at DFA Records since the NYC label formed in 2001. The closest thing to a Motown or Stax session musician of yore, the former Les Savy Fav drummer has lent his talents to DFA-released albums from artists like LCD Soundsystem, Planningtorock and Shit Robot. Teaming up with producer Dennis McNany to form Museum of Love (both musicians' first outing as songwriters), Mahoney has remained loyal to DFA's brand of analog/analogue '70s disco.Unlike some of his former collaborators, Mahoney drenches his songs in a shimmering gaze of atmospheric haze that allows five-and-six minute synth-compositions sound epic and moody.
Is 2014 the year the drummer slips out from behind the set and finds a spotlight all his own? Not quite, but bless ‘em all for trying. On the heels of Radiohead drummer Philip Selway’s sophomore effort, Pat Mahoney (of the late LCD Soundsystem) has paired with longtime DFA label presence Dennis McNany for the self-titled Museum of Love. Perhaps no label in contemporary music has been so consistent and distinctive in their sound as DFA.
After LCD Soundsystem (aka James Murphy) bowed out, many of the musicians who collaborated with Murphy went on to create their own projects: enter former LCD drummer Pay Mahoney. With his friend Dennis McNany the two formed Museum of Love, and for their self titled debut they’ve forged a unique electronic soundscape. Mahoney’s vocal stylings alter slightly with the feel of each track as his soft, wispy voice balances between singing and spoken word.
When you break up like LCD Soundsystem did in 2011, it's probably best to keep a low profile for a while. In April that year, the band played an epic farewell concert at Madison Square Garden, as 20,000 mourning-yet-ecstatic fans got to see James Murphy and co deliver one final three-hour-plus set of electronic disco hooks and driving rhythms. This was the iconic venue where Led Zeppelin filmed The Song Remains The Same, the site of George Harrison's Bangladesh concert, and where Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to JFK.