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Music Review: moe. – Smash Hits Volume One

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From my experience with music lovers, jam bands always seem to provoke a strong emotion. Some people either love them or hate them. Those who love them, follow them around the country. I have friends who have followed The Grateful Dead, Phish, and even Wide Spread Panic around the country and even the world.

Moe. fits this music category. They are a classic jam band that would be heard on a satellite radio station like, Jam On. They also play music festivals around the country, including the infamous Bonnaroo. In addition, they have their own festivals including: snow.down (Vermont), Summercamp (Illinois) and moe.down (New York).

Moe. was formed in Buffalo, NY in the late 1980s. The band consists of excellent musicians, including: Rob Derhak (bass, Vocals), Al Schnier (guitar, Vocals, keyboard), Chuck Garvey (guitar, Vocals), Vinnie Amico (drums), and Jim Loughlin (percussion).

Their new album, Smash Hits Volume One, takes the top songs from their 14 other albums. Produced by Fatboy Label, this anthology of work spans from the last 20 years of moe.'s music. It is a great introduction to the band. If you already love moe. then this compilation album takes all of moe.’s top songs and brings it to one place.

Interestingly, Smash Hits Volume One is not an album in which songs were pulled and mixed together from previous albums. The band got together in a studio and played their tunes so that all of the songs had the same consistency and sound quality.

Moe. encompasses the real “rock and roll” sound. They use electric guitars, heavy drums, and utilize repetitive music. There seems to be few words and mostly musical interludes. But when Derhak, Schnier, and Garvey sing, they have a harmonious sound.

The second song on the album, “Yodelittle,” is one of the band’s first songs recorded. It's a catchy tune and makes you want to bop your head. My favorite song on the album is “St. Augustine.” I just love the rhythm and every time I hear it, I feel like getting up and dancing! I’m sure this song gets everyone moving at any of their festivals.

Most of their songs put me into a musical trance. When I listen to their music, I can't think of anything else besides the way the music flows together and makes me feel.

I’ll be honest with you, I have heard of moe. before, but never really listened to their music and have never been to one of their concerts. So, you can call me a “first timer.” Although, I love punk, new wave, alternative and classic rock, I really enjoyed Smash Hits Volume One.

Every time I listened to the album, it put me in a relaxed and good mood. That’s what I expect when I listen to music. So Smash Hits Volume One met and even exceeded my expectations.

About Hilary Topper

  • http://www.sunspotcycle.com Amy Yarbrough

    Jazz in the Present Tense includes musicians from a prior generation who helped expand the genre’s boundaries, like Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. One can see how these two giants played music that was true to their individual personalities and talents.

  • Hilary Topper

    Thanks for the comment Amy… Did you listen to this album yet?