A Couple Of Gems To Kick Off 2013

Night Moves– Colored Emotions


I was hooked on the initial “sell comparisons”.  A sell comparison ( I made this term up btw) is a short sentence or description sent to a blogger or reviewer, like myself, that compares the band your about to hear to a more popular band. In Night Moves case the bands used were Supertramp, MGMT, and Gram Parsons. After sifting through the press I read some cool write ups about this Minneapolis band.  I hear the MGMT comparisons immediately with the high reverb soaked vocals by John Pelant. That’s where I’d stop because personally Night Moves are more interesting than MGMT.

Their worn leather psychedelic saloon sound digs it’s heels deep in your head.  If Mercury Rev were to write a cowboy theme record they’d come up with Colored Emotions After three spins I’m still listening for the Supertramp comparisons. This would be a tough sell for me being a huge Supertramp fan. Maybe the unique arrangements they portray would garner such common ground but otherwise I don’t hear it.

This record sounds like it was conceived out of Dave Fridmann’s sound lab, Tarbox Road Studios (MGMT, Mercury Rev, Tame Impala, Flaming Lips).  After a furthur research I learned it was beautifully recorded by John Miller and mixed by Thom Monaghan (who’s done some fantastic work with Black Crowes frontman, Chris Robinson and the Beachwood Sparks).

Night Moves is John Pelant (guitars/vocals), Micky Alfano (bass) and Mark Ritsema (multi-instrumentalist) and will be joined by drummerJared Isabella for the tour. The band has been named “Best New Band” by Minneapolis City Pages and received praise from the likes of NPR MusicSPINBullettMagnetMinneapolis Star Tribune and more. They’ve also been getting steady airplay on public radio’s most esteemed stations including KCRW (Los Angeles), KEXP(Seattle), The Current (Minneapolis) and WXPN(Philadelphia).

3 Stars *** (if had two more songs as solid as Headlights it would’ve pushed the 4 star range….so again a very STRONG 3 stars)

Onward Chariot: This Is My Confession

onward chariot

A very daring record from a theatrical classical-pop hybrid songwriter named Ben Morss. Conceptual mind set and full steam ahead. Morss is able to guide this project into a realm where Ben Folds meets Paul Revere and the Raiders. This record is perfect for the ADHD music aficionado who enjoys a flip flop between modern production and vintage instruments with sweeping vocal hooks. Every songwriter is searching for a hook, and in this case melodies abound, so much so that they can barely be contained. Kudos to Ben Morss, Dan Davine, Shawn Setaro, and Rus Wimbish for this very stylistic record. Love the organs sounds man!!

3 Stars *** (this one is pushing the 4 star range….so a very STRONG 3 stars)

Rob Eldridge

Writer & Photographer, PMM

The Eldge Rating Scale: 

1 Star > pass on it  

2 Stars > couple good cuts

3 Stars > explore this one  

4 Stars > purchase it  

5 Stars > never leaves your side