Monday, September 26, 2011

Moods for Moderns - Loud & Clear - 2001

Stealing more than a few pages out of the power pop handbook, Moods for Moderns has officially arrived as a veritable force with Loud & Clear. Big guitars, lush harmonies, and incessant energy mark this reverent, yet altogether refreshing, arena pop. Whether channeling Big Star influences on "Lust for Luster" or cavernous Left Banke-ish sounds on "Long Distance Dedication," Moods for Moderns is overwhelmingly on target with its decidedly backwards-looking pop confections. While the Zombies, Elvis Costello, and the Rolling Stones are all evoked at different moments, it's quite obvious that this band's loyalties lay in classic '70s rock. As this dedication has supposedly manifested itself in the band's members refusing to listen to any music recorded after 1979 during Loud & Clear's recording sessions, as well as only using recording equipment from that period, the result of their devotion is undeniably rewarding. Fairly predictable and obviously derivative, Moods for Moderns nonetheless succeed in presenting straightforward rock at its most undiluted. -AMG