Perhaps it is safe to say that Led Zeppelin may have had an impact on any music that sounds roughly like classic rock, and it is safe to say this about this brand new release from America Owns The Moon. Their take on classic rock, though, manages to pay homage to the hammer of the gods, while taking their music somewhere completely different, and wholly their own.
For a band with such a youthful, energetic vibe, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that they have been a band for more than 2 decades. Starting in the year 2000, in Indianapolis, America Owns The Moon have definitely paid their dues, and came out from the other side a band of veteran musicians, with a sound that’s unique to them, and also familiar and readily accessible, falling somewhere between classic, punk, and blues rock. It’s a nice formula that wields wild results.
On Tiger, the sound is uniformly invigorating, consistently loose, fun, rackety, and inviting, the kind of sound messy mosh pits have been invented for. The Hard Way starts the album on a rocking note with rich riffs and a playful rhythm section that will keep sounding this fresh and playful throughout the album, and with a singing style that will sound immediately familiar and brand new, as band founder and vocalist Christian Taylor heartily delivers his lines as if he was just laying them bare for the rowdiest club audience, an observation that came in handy when I found out that this was exactly how these songs were recorded. The tapes were sent rolling as the band just played those songs just like they have done for years, raw, organic, from the heart, and direct, and for a group that have played together for over 20 years, it’s not hard to tell their expertise playing off of one other, being in total control of the mess.
Pink Pink is musical and melodic, while being sleazy and weirdly seductive. The delicious overdriven guitars play perfectly on top of one another, nicely harnessing what could have ended up as a hot mess, and morphing it into intricate, melodic syncopation. Otherwise is major and melodic, nice and warm. With its unique, memorable vocals and nuanced syncopated verses, pit against the purely charismatic and colorful hooks, Otherwise ends up being one the album’s most memorable tunes. Freak Out called to my mind Led Zeppelin’s early jam-based performance at the Royal Albert Hall, with its incessantly manic energy and tight looseness, the latter being a disappearing art that only a few have ever managed to pull off quite as elegantly as Zeppelin, until America Owns The Moon came along.
The closer, Baby Yeah, might be the song that makes the biggest statement on the whole record. Still carrying the same riff-filled energy and loose, unique-sounding rhythm section musicianship, this song sees the band exercise restraint and quietness, and gracefully accepting the gift of reverb, effortlessly into the sound, while having a few gorgeous vocal harmonies that shows the extent of the talent that we’re dealing with.
America Owns The Moon is a band of professionals who’ve spent years perfecting the nuances of their sound, and the result is classic rock, that rocks, and not for one moment sound generic or aged, and punk rock, that hits hard, while never sounding noisy, brash, or excessive. Tiger is a truly awesome listen from an awesome discovery that is America Owns The Moon.