Written by: Paul Gleason
MPV’s debut EP, In Lust We Trust, pipes out of your speakers like your favorite beer runs from the basement keg to the tap in your favorite dirty rock club. The record provides the same soothing satisfaction as the beer – but in an atmosphere that’s pure grunge.
It’s a rare thing when a band merges sweet pop and raw rock so infectiously, but MPV have done just this – and chances are that you’ll become addicted to In Lust We Trust, returning to it again and again, just like that beer, just like that club.
MPV – Elise McCoy on guitar and lead vocals, Valerie Klaft on drums and backing vocals, and John Missig on bass and backing vocals – are a band that could have only come from Detroit and its environs. The Stooges and MC5 grandfather their riffs, and The White Stripes inspire their blues-punk urgency.
Iggy Pop once said, “Gimme danger, little stranger,” and MPV have responded with a resounding, “Yes!” by populating all four tracks on the EP with great grunge guitar. Just listen to the way in which McCoy’s high-octane guitar leads the rest of the band into “Mister Sister,” as well as the thick, bluesy riffs on “Wrong Girl.”
But MPV aren’t a one-trick pony. Sure, they’re heavy, but they also have a pop sensibility that harkens back to Nirvana and The Breeders.
McCoy, Klaft, and Missig are confident and melodic singers. As a lead vocalist, McCoy seems to have intuitively amalgamated the approaches of Kim Deal and L7’s Donita Sparks. She has Last Splash and Bricks Are Heavy in her bones, and she can sound as sweet as Deal or as brash as Sparks. The main vocal melodies of “Mister Sister” and “Wrong Girl” are tough-as-nails, whereas “Real Good Time” and “In My Dreams” (which is perhaps the EP’s strongest cut) have catchy pop melodies.
As backing vocalists, Klaft and Missig come to the fore on the bridge of “Real Good Time,” sweeting McCoy’s captivating lead vocals with outstanding harmony vocals. On “In My Dreams,” McCoy sings in a high register, showing her vulnerability through truly introspective lyrics. And Klaft and Missig’s harmonies support her to perfection.
(McCoy, Klaft, and Missig prove that it’s no coincidence that MPV hail from the same hometown as Motown.)
McCoy’s guitar playing is versatility incarnate. Just listen to the way in which she fills “Mister Sister,” in various sections of the song, with chunky riffs, feedback noise, and melodic solos. The other three tracks follow the same guitar dynamics, with Klaft and Missig supporting her with drumming and bass playing that are always in the pocket.
Have a taste of MPV’s In Lust We Trust. It’s like that beer you love, that club you call home – you’ll want to taste the music of MPV as much as possible and hang with McCoy, Klaft, and Missig any chance you get.