CD REVIEW: The Black Moods - The Black Moods
by: Cyrus Rhodes
"The Black Moods Rock the House."
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist/Band: The Black Moods
The Black Moods
Blues/Rock, Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Hard Rock
The Black Moods are a 3-pieces rock outfit hailing from Tempe, Arizona, by way of the Missouri Ozarks. Their latest self titled CD was released in 2013. Band members; Joshua Kennedy (Guitar), Chico (Drums) and Ryan Prier (Bass). The trio blends various rock & Roll styles that span from the past 4 decades to form their own signature sound that resembles what would be the musical offspring of Bad Company and the Foo Fighters.
The CD kicks lifts off the ground nicely with Can’t Sleep at Night” a slamming intro piece that serves up rocked out groove against effective harmonies, amazing solo guitar and soulful melody from Kennedy. Track 2 “Serves You Right” keeps thing moving in the right direction with heartfelt vocal delivery from Kennedy against steady flowing rhythm section, against hooky chorus making for an impressive follow up statement. Track 3 “Give it to Me” is another impressive groove that dishes out full tilt rock rhythm and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs it’s way through to emotional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 amazing songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. I would classify this music as classic R&B, Americana, with brief touches of psychedelic Rock of the early 70’s Rock n’ Roll. Music is reminiscent of classic Aerosmith, Poison, Peter Framption, Led Zeppelin, Cream with brief splashes of The Black Crows and even Foo Fighters. Along the way besides power trio standard you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive solo guitar, well placed percussion, and lush harmonies layered everywhere. What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to guitarist/singer Joshua Kennedy - as for his vocal abilities he’s amazing! His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that is simply infectious. He's got vocal mojo and a solid rock vibrato. I suspect some of his vocal influences are – Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) Chris Robinson (Black Crows) and even Gavin Rosdale (Bush). I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks indicating to me a confident vocal ability. He’s not a bad guitarist either. I really like his soulful guitar solos and r&B Style playing. Kennedy is the quintessential rock star and is clearly the marquee talent within this band. IF he wrote all these songs he could be bigger than any of us realize at the moment. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. This CD from The Black Moods delivers 10 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music of The Black Moods has everything you would expect from a rocking musical production. From grooving Like a Wave” to striking “Get off my Back” to my personal favorite “Hey You” to heartfelt “Don’t Let Them Get You Down” to rocking “The Only One” and ‘Torn up Dress” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 13 “Salt” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
The slow break (2:26) on “Get off my Back” sounds real cheesy. I wish there were 1 or 2 more blues based tracks on the catalogue. The CD is a bit short with only 10 tracks, perhaps 3 or 4 more songs are needed to make it a fully loaded catalogue of music. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
From start to finish this debut CD from The Black Moods is an amazing collection of music. The songwriting – world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this fully loaded catalog. The writing and playing abilities of this 3 piece and is rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed with luscious tidbits of good old fashioned Blues, Rock n Roll and Alternative Rock layered along the way. Finally the presence of Joshua Kennedy is to die for. Be sure to check out the Black Moods website linked above. The Black Moods rock the House!