In a recent review, I compared Moonbow’s first album The End of Time to a roller coaster. If that metaphor stands true, then the album new again by The Happy Maladies is the merry-go-round – and this ride is missing a gear or two; and the ride, and its operator, have a few screws loose.
The album Higher Action by The Guitarsis a time machine upholstered in crushed red velvet and fine Corinthian leather. Every note, every verse and every track is perfectly crafted to wrap you in luxurious comfort and style.
The Newport-based trio played in the Lounge – the smallest of the three stages – and they immediately filled the room to capacity with exuberant fans, curious onlookers like me, and an unearthly powerful sound. As soon as their set was finished, I made a beeline to the merch table and picked up a copy of their 6-song CD, The Collapse.
The songs on The Collapse read like a post-apocalyptic diary written by those left behind after the cataclysm, but who have still been deeply affected by something much bigger and scarier than themselves. The tracks are punctuated by bits of radio static or odd recorded clips that seem to cry out “Is there anybody out there?”
The opening strains of Moonbow's debut album, The End of Time, draw you in like the first hill of a monster roller coaster. The off-tune violin and rustic guitar hint of something yet-to-come; and once the drums and bass kick-in, you're over that first big hill, screaming with a combination of thrill and terror. You're gravity's prisoner now, so you best just hold on tight and enjoy the ride.