There are many creative talents that go into making a record. Oh, sure, you need a guitarist, drummer, keyboardist, trombonist, etc. And there is cover art, which is nice but not so important since everything is a download these days and who really cares about the 75 pixel square that the MP3 player shows when the song is playing.
But an art that i really appreciate and that no one seems to mention is The Art of Witty Song Titles. So few bands can come up with a really great song title. I mean, A Day in the Life? All You Need Is Love? Come on, Beatles, you can do better than that!
Moyamoya have a real talent for song titles. This record, apparently their debut, features songs such as Sorry I Called You He-Man and I Don't Need An Advocate, I Need An Exorcist. Brilliant! These guys are a shoo-in for the Grammy Award for Outstanding Song Title!
All this from a post-rock trio from Jacksonville, FL. Now, i think we have moved into the era where Post-Rock is just another genre that is out there. I remember when i first heard this sort of thing -- Tristeza and Mogwai were so unique, so different. Intense guitar rock that is melodic at times and riff heavy at other times -- and NO ONE SINGS! Wow!
Now there are a ton of bands out there who do this type of music. And that's cool. I mean, i sometimes have issues with lyrics and vocalists. I don't want to have to devote too much of my attention to what the voice is saying, so i end up listening to a lot of instrumental music. But that lack of voice bothers other people, and i get that too. I mention this as way of disclaimer, because even with the great song titles, if you find yourself bored by riffing music with no one singing, then go ahead and click away now. Moyamoya will not interest you.
Moving on, this is the project of three guys who are, if you believe the press, veterans of the Jacksonville music scene. It kind of shows too, since there is some mastery on display here. Richard Dudley plays guitar, and he is all over the place -- from long slow notes to fast riffing. Scott Madgett pounds the drum kit and Brennan Hamill thumps the bass.
The music is, well, post-rock. No vocals, or even vocal samples. The songs sort of ebb and flow from mellower moments to dense grandiosity.
Two songs really stand out. Full On Half-Wit (which is not only a great song title but an insult that i vow to work into conversation!) reaches classic math-rock levels of rhythmic weirdness. The drumming is all over the place in a manner reminiscent of Rodan, while the guitar and bass lurch around like The Purkinje Shift. It's cool, if you don't mind some math getting into your post-rock.
Spring Guide to Fashion, on the other hand, is a classic post-rock tune. It moves through all of the post-rock tropes in about six minutes, and does them believably and in a catchy manner. If post-rock is your thing, then you will love this song.
The other four tracks are all pretty good, but those two are the ones that stand out to me. Moyamoya are not reinventing anything, but if you need something to fill the time while waiting for a new Explosions In the Sky record, then this is a good choice.