Sunday, May 3, 2015

JOHN MOOSE: "John Moose"

Rating: RR
Label: Anlesser/Border 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Escapism and back to nature with John Moose (it's the 5-piece band and not a person). What if you decided to move to Sweden and join the weird music cult in the deep dark woods of Värmland? It's the concept album about John Moose and his longing for the late sixties/early seventies hippie collective and trying to free yourself from the chains of civilization? I don't know. It makes no real sense and especially since they rely on high-tech and the App to d/l stream the album. Here's the catch. The App only works when you're out and about in the bush? Great thinking there. Internet in the woods? Yep. It's all broadband and 4G speed... not!! Basically the direct insult to all of us with a dodgy connection.

All the above would however be forgiven in the blink of an eye if John Moose came through with flying colours and great material. Don't get me wrong. There's definitely moments of clarity and ultra slow and mellow tracks such as, "Home I" and "Mountain", impress in all its simplicity. It's First Aid Kit and The Weeping Willows light, if you know what I mean? But it's good stuff no doubt and, "Villager", another fine moment in the spirit of Americana v.s Swedish melancholy. Sadly, it's all too weird from this point on.

"Spirits", the overall feeling of the song could have you thinking about A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the Hare Krishna Movement. Keep in mind that I'm not actually saying they are chanting like your average Hare-Hare's at the airport. It just feels like it's too much New Age and not enough of the quality folk-rock and melodies to please this particular reviewer. "Ocean", poor man's version of First Aid Kit. "Flower", every rose has its thorn. Final verdict: The first four tracks are all great. The rest? could still be enjoyable if you're into New Age and dropping acid.

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