Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Cassette Review //
Moss Jaw
"Embody"
(Already Dead Tapes)


$6 //
Edition of 100 //
https://alreadydeadtapes.bandcamp.com/album/ad307-moss-jaw-embody //

Right away this feels like trippy rock but there is also a lot of melody within it.   It feels like a mix between a twee band and Blind Melon.    The bass lines just create this rock that I can't quite put my finger on.  It's kind of lighter, upbeat and has elements of something I've heard before but it's also just so much not like anything I've ever heard before.   It's dark and driven without generating that distinct sound: more of a Letters to Cleo than Blondie on the surface but vice versa underneath.

There are some killer guitar riffs in here too, which I feel translate better when listening to them pierce through than they do with mere words.   Then it kicks into this Sebadoh type of vibe as well and it can become music over lyrics.   I'm not sure there is a comparison with this where you can just go "Beach House meets Silversun Pickups", though I'm sure someone will make it you just kind of have to relax and get lost in how this almost sounds surf but also like stars.   I like to think of it as being on the beach staring at the starry sky.

It's getting a bit slower now, almost dreamy but it reminds me of Cowboy Junkies.   Why I always compare music with the past instead of focusing on the present is beyond me but aren't we all trapped in our pasts somehow?   It just picks up and has that sound where it could have fit within the 1990's so well-- that "10 Things I Hate About You" soundtrack era.    It fades out at one point then comes back with those drums like Radiohead's "Creep" and then the guitars just twist and turn around what is somewhat country-esque but not really just sort of sad I guess.

Bands like Moss Jaw always get me because I think that it's so great this type of sound must have been done before.   They must be ripping off one of those larger bands I don't listen to, but I don't think that's the case because if it was they wouldn't be on Already Dead.   I think it's just one of those "This is such a great idea why didn't we think of it before!" type of things but I love when bands have sounds which sort of fall into place, all too new and all too familiar at the same time as is the case with Moss Jaw.

Fun MOTU Fact: There are characters in the Masters of the Universe, uh... universe (?) called Moss Man and Trapjaw.   Who wants to create a band called Mantrap and do a split with Moss Jaw?  (Please?)

Is it too late to compare this with The Rocking Horse Winner?  Does anyone else remember how incredibly good that band was?   These songs just seem to pick up with the drumming, like they get upbeat and I think they're going to be sunshine and happiness but then they just drop down into this slower, darker sadness.   It almost perfectly describes my mood at most times.   Also, there was this smaller band from MA called The Warren Commission and I'm feeling them in here as well.

This song is just rocking out now and it has been for some time.  I'm not sure how this band didn't take long rests between recording each song-- it's not that energy and speed of punk rock but it takes a lot out of me just listening to it. 

On the flip side we start off with quite the fury.    For some reason now- and only now really- I am reminded of The Cranberries.   Sad solos now like Nada Surf.    The trading off of the vocals reminds me of The Forecast but other people might hear other artists (Rainer Maria, Mates of State... whoever you are most familiar with)   There are definite math rock type guitar patterns in this now as well. 

Softer with bells now I somehow hear ANMLPLNET but those bells just takeover the entire song with that slight drum roll in the background.    This all kind of fades and returns into a song called "Bone/Fracture" which has a definite power math rock vibe going on here-- some strong I Kill Giants comparisons shall be made I feel.    Then it just breaks down into something dreamy yet also darker somehow.    The guitars just come screeching through like post rock as well. 

The drumming really comes through with the guitar notes on this final song.   It's dreamy and when it kicks in, it just really kicks in.   This might be the best representation of Moss Jaw, but it also could just feel this way because it is the culmination of all of the other songs together and so once you get here you know more than you did at the first song.









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