As the year nears its death, many emotions can be felt. Rebirth, decline, melancholy, joy, hope, despair, and many more all jostle for metaphorical space in our communal psyche. It can get pretty tiring, the constant narrative noise, year end summaries, retrospectives, and the such. You know what’s a good cure to all of that? Drowning it without some noise. I usually go deep into my well of bands during this time, reaching out to my social circles so they can recommend me some chunky, large, and loud tunes. And it hath provided, this time without me even asking for it; a few days ago Simon sent me Moths, “highlighting” the King Crimson cover at the end with a few choice expletives. That got my interested and I listened to the full thing, discovering a pretty little EP comprised of grooves, hooks, and riffs aplenty.
At this point, we don’t even need to tell you how an album with art like that sounds; the progressive stoner/doom trend has been going on for long enough. However, Moths pull off the formula to a tee, infusing their riff-centric stoner with plenty of great grunge flourishes, interesting vocal lines and a general irreverence to genre norms that gives this EP its own personality. Check out the end of the opening track, “Lepidoptera” for example. There’s a nifty little digression into progressive rock in there, perhaps belying the closing King Crimson cover (which does indeed own by the way, bringing out the groove in “21st Century Schizoid Man” like few other covers have).
From that little ditty, the track suddenly veers powerfully into punk territory, while the vocals go harsh, melding well with the added aggression. The transition into the second track has some electronic hints before settling into a groove section fronted riff that wouldn’t be out of place in a Clutch track. But the progressive roots are never left too far behind, coming back at key points during the record to add variety into everything. The end result is a chunky but agile record, specked with brief moments of innovation and personality that make it a joy to listen to. Turn it up loud as the Hordes of New Year’s gather outside your door and have your own little party. You’ve earned it.