The Moore Brothers
Murdered By The Moore Brothers
Way back in the halcyon days of 2005, when our innocence had yet to be sullied by the promotional jihad for Pirates of the Caribbean II and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! sounded like something that a "special" person would say upon arriving at a puppet show, I heard a song on my radio, that made me pull over and listen. In fact it did on numerous occasions, since my local college station cannot leave a dead horse unflogged for but a minute, but I didn't mind, for each whack on the equine carcass brought another respite from the cruelties of that year. That song was the dulcet "I'll Be Your Record" by Owl and the Pussycat, a side project by the Moore Brother named Greg. By the third time I'd heard it, I actually darted out and bought the CD immediately. Music critics are usually befouled with CD's, so understand that this is a rare occasion, but I had to have that song right there and then.
I figured this incident to be a mere chip in my solid jade exterior, but lo, in my mail The Music Fairy has dropped in my lap The Moore Brothers latest Murdered By The Moore Brothers and with all pun possible intended, the record slays me. It's like listening to Simon and Garfunkel if they had let their evil and smart-ass inner children free instead of entombing them in crystalline ice. It's, for the most part, perfect vocal harmonies accompanied by unobtrusive acoustic guitar noodlings with some brilliant couplets like 'Just like a deaf girl/You'll be giving me a sign" in the resplendent "The Auditorium Birds." Another winner is this bit that opens "Fresh Thoughts of You"
If there were one thing in this world I would kill
You know it wouldn't be cancer
Because even the tumor on my little toe
Doesn't smell half as bad
As the parties you throw
Now that is a bad party. The push pull between the folk-tatsic harmonies and the sharp wit on this record I so refreshing. There is too much goddamn indie rock out there, and it all floats with some minor fluctuation around the 6.5 mark on the tank. They are good and all, but unless you are perpetually updating the logos scrawled on your Trapper Keeper, complete with annotations, it's impossible to tell a Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsen from a They Shoot Horses Don't They. I imagine this is the case among the jam band community, except they have an advantage in that all that stuff is supposed to sound the same and blend in together.
No, the Moore Brothers' talent-show harmonies cut through the hipster permafrost like a Navy Ice-breaker. It's definitely encoded for the indie rock audience and not the folk audience. Folk music, in the contemporary sense, is over-filigreed and corny. The Moore Brothers are the kind of band you throw on when you finally get some alone time with demure tie-dye girl that works at the radio station with you, and you desire to comingle in the afternoon stoner-clutter of her amazingly calm apartment. Or maybe I'm just projecting, wishing I'd had this CD some 12 years ago when the only disk in my booksack was the remarkably un-romantic "The Ideal Copy" by Wire. All I know is, or can venture is, that things would've been a little different in that particular college relationship during the breathy and skeletal "Old Friend of Mine." Now, "At Terror", its Everly Brothers glee singing the praises of delinquency might have killed the moment, but that's OK, it only took a minute or two to get back in the game then anyway, and there are plenty of dalliance-ready summer breezes left on the record. What I'm saying is: this CD is no guaranteed heat-seeking targeting system, but your odds are better with the Moore brothers on your team singing "Bury Me Under The Kissing Teens" purring out of that flimsy jambox of hers.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com