On their latest single, “Moods,” the guitar sound is straight out of the late-60s, early 70s-era Sabbath, Purple, Taste, et al. Ash’s vocals stand out in the mix in the most modern-rock sense possible. Similar to Paramore’s Hayley, Ash’s voice has a delicate, youthful character which naturally contrasts with the hard rock backdrop of “Moods.” It almost needs to be somewhat isolated from what’s happening musically in order to highlight that contrast.
Generally, the production of “Moods” shows much skill and experience. Layers drop out and come back in at exactly the spots you want them to, without it sounding too predictable. There’s no hurry at the beginning for the full band to come in. A distorted bass line is chugging away first, along with a very basic drum beat. This sets the mood (no pun intended) for the track. Then, in a subtle way, the bass disappears, and this pretty arpeggiating electric guitar chimes in, as we hear Ash wondering, “i’m filled with such an energy, how can I redirect it?” Bam! The bass kicks back in, providing a foundation for the full onslaught of guitar, rhythm tracks, and vocals in the chorus.
While the vocals are undeniably a star on the record, the instrumentalists are doing just what they need to be doing and filling in the gaps with great skill. This is really what makes these guys not just sound like total pros, but you just feel like each one really knows their instrument and how it works in the style. Subtle touches like the flam work on the snare drum during the opening section or the tremolo guitar, deep in the mix during the last chorus, really add to the overall production quality of the track.
Listen to ‘Moods’ through here.
The guitar solo definitely brings to mind some 70s Triumph tracks and the great Randy Rhoads. It’s not just another stock blues/pentatonic sequence of cliches. It’s got finesse and it logically fits in with what’s happening progression-wise. There’s a sense of direction, as it builds up to a climax of taps and shreds which lead the musical number into the final section.
If this single isn’t enough to quench your thirst for new rock sounds, be sure to check out these Aussies’ latest EP Diviner when it comes out!