Moco is a garage punk whirlwind. Their new CD hit American college radio this spring, but they ought to be marketed to the Nuggets crowd too, if such a thing is possible.
Heat up some Animals, (including a Trogg or two), season with Jim Morrison, whip it into post-punk tempos, and you’ve got this quartet from Wigan, England. I had no idea where Wigan was, so I looked on a map, and it came as no surprise to see that it’s near Manchester. (My wife was in a play about crazed Manchester soccer fans a while back. Though this music has nothing to do with soccer, the furious energy is familiar).
It starts with singer Steve Jones, evidently a crazy bastard on stage whose manic energy is captured well on CD. Guitarist Anthony Rigby plays with the requisite bite, and the rhythm section of Nick Higham and Simon Misra is solid on bass and drums respectively.
Moco lacks the level of songwriting talent that made their classic antecedents classic, and makes (for a more contemporary comparison) the White Stripes more than just a flavor of the month. But like the Stripes, Moco seem to genuinely have the rebellious energy that rock music was originally all about, and although their arrangements are somewhat intricate, the music has an uncalculated feel, as if composed and played effortlessly. And like the Troggs, the vocals sound as if they were recorded in a distant bathroom. It’s very effective.
The CD opens with “Moco Loco,” a dark little gem drenched in circa-1968 organ, with a T-Rex beat and a nod to the Doors at the end. The speedier numbers like “Early Liz Hurley” and “Baby When You Die” evoke the quirky energy of the post-punk era, while “New Official Truth” ends with what may be the best screaming rave-up since Kurt Cobain. But what makes Moco’s adept handling of rock’s sonic palette into more than just well-played music is the humor in the arrangements and lyrics. My best recommendation is simply to say that this CD puts a smile on my face.
Available at CD Baby