The ’60’s psychedelic meltdowns and music of Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel

Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel | Photo courtesy of the band


ECHO PARK — Lolipop Records is located next to the murals of faces found under the Sunset Boulevard bridge. It so happens that one of the bands on Lolipop’s roster, Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel,  conjure images of floating faces and melting landscapes with their ’60’s psychedelic meltdowns.

Vocalist and keyboardist Tomas Dolas punctuates the point with his dreamy vocals (not like he’s so dreamy, but more like you-didn’t-study-for-your test dream), and percussion work comes from the hyper Wyatt Blair. Mr. Elevator lives and dies on bass, keys, and drums. The tinkling lo-fi approach means that the group might sound like boys wearing grandma’s jewelry, but they also bring with them meaty appetites for sinister sounds. At times the group presses through that psychedelic membrane and plunge into face melting bass barrages. Minor-key modulations undulate from organ, while bass lines hunt on the lower register, scraping up all the multihued crustaceans on the sea floor.

With the track  & Her Psychedelic Subconscious the band shows their chops with an instrumental perfect for a chase scene through a busy street market. Certainly the head trip comparisons are there, but with Dolas’ vocals it’s more of an androgynous come hither high that’s being offered. It’s that trust test where someone falls backwards into the arms of someone they trust. Only now it’s the universe doing the catching.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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