Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Digital Single Review: Mooner - “Making Americans” BW “Down On Marston Blues”


Mooner’s new single, “Making Americans,” which is available for a name-your-price download on the formerly Portland, now Chicago-based quintet’s Bandcamp page, follows the same off kilter but engaging power pop approach as its 2012 EP, Unpronounceable Name.

A press release acknowledges this new song’s debt to Elvis Costello. That’s immediately evident in the way vocalist/songwriter Lee Ketch mixes stinging lines like, “Soon as you see the light/I’ll break your head on the floor” with an impossibly catchy arrangement that also evokes The Replacements or The dB’s, with an additional hit of classic rock. It’s a mid-tempo, cryptic satire fueled by the guitars of Lee and vocalist/guitarist David Ketch, the rhythm section of drummer Adam Bonich and bassist Taylor Briggs, and augmented by Steve Slagg’s fluid piano work.

On “Down On Marston Blues,” Mooner uses a spare, acoustic arrangement that sounds like it was recorded live in a club. David Ketch’s talky vocal style gives this tale of self-reflection a sort of vintage Neil Young vibe.

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