moe.’s Wormwood album of the aughts?
moe.’s annual moe.down kicked off today what promises to be an epic weekend in the mountains. Hidden Track had recently asked me to submit my album of the millenium, which was coincidentally the epic Wormwood. Hidden Track:
Never too far from my CD changer since its release, moe.’s 2003 epic Wormwood, represents the best of what moe. is as a band. The majority of the tracks were recorded live on their 2002 summer tour and then taken into the studio for generous helpings of tweaking and sweetening. Clocking in at roughly 60 minutes, the album typifies a strong live set with studio sheen and captures the essence of a live show. The album answers the age old question ‘can a jamband record a good studio album?’, with an emphatic yes! The twin dueling guitar work of Chuck Garvey and Al Schnier is prominently featured throughout, cartwheeling and jabbing; bobbing and weaving. Rob Derhak’s steady, penetrating and throbbing bass lines coupled with Vinnie Amico’s and Jim Loughlin’s tasteful percussive accents and vibe work make this mother groove along.
The songs on the album flow with liquid ease and segue into one another making this cohesive effort a shape shifting and gliding masterpiece. The album offers a lot of fun in the form of Okayalright and Kids, the former would have definitely been a stoner’s anthem in the ’70s and the latter displaying a Fire On The Mountain hook. The title track languidly oozes out of the album’s opener, Not Coming Down which features some excellent vocal harmony work. The reggae tinged Crab Eyes is moe. at their most inspired, as is Bullett. Both are on the money and feature explosive tension and release structure. The centerpiece on the album is Kyle’s Song which displays dueling guitar pyrotechnics with its multi-textured structure, offering layers of sounds and studio effects. It could be said that there is almost too much to digest in one listen, but that’s where the greatest payoff lies, the complete piece. But watch out, this thing has teeth and balls. (more…)