“Cry Havoc!” is a thrilling introduction to a new sonic and narrative world created by Mobley. At once intimate and epic, these songs find him exploring themes of power, alienation, and dissent with an artful clarity that demands repeat listening.
With his trademark cinematic sweep, the Austin, TX-based songsmith (and record producer/filmmaker/writer) has delivered a new EP that carries forward the concepts that have animated his work to-date. But where 2021’s Young & Dying in the Occident Supreme refracted these ideas through surreal spaghetti-western soundscapes and guitar-driven psych rock, “Cry Havoc!” introduces a retro-futuristic world of seductively sinister melodies, distorted synths, jagged cuts, and propulsive rhythms.
What remains unchanged is Mobley’s penchant for pop songwriting—ear-worm melodies and hooks for days. He has a mad scientist’s need to experiment with the form’s limits: for half of the tracks Mobley wrote and recorded whole songs which he then dismantled and sampled to create a fresh, new sound. The result is a record that feels strange and familiar, dangerous and danceable. It evokes the dread curiosity of 70s sci-fi paperbacks—among the inspirations for the EP. “Cry Havoc!” is itself a speculative fiction concept record that takes place in an alternate-past New York and the catastrophic far future. It follows an antihero whose failed heist attempt lands him in a secret time prison.