Melissa Swingle (formerly of Trailer Bride) and Laura King offer up their own blend of guitar and drums rock on their first CD Dark Snack. The recording has the usual line-up of heartbreak, bitter, love-sick, and social commentary songs that music fans have come to expect from punk-influenced rock. Swingles compelling voice slides out of the speakers and is injected into the listener’s veins like a vaccine against rock poseurs.
The Moaners take on the rock format with a wry smile, particularly with their version of “House of the Rising Sun” that has a modern and personal twist (“Paradise Club”). “Heart Attack” kicks off the CD with a walking blues line in the verses and then shifting into straight 4/4 rock with the chorus. The blues comes out again on “Elizabeth Cotten’s Song” with a harmonica intro and blues rock style melody and lyrics. Math rock-ish “Too Many People” is a commentary on life in a crowded city from the perspective of an agoraphobic introvert. “Terrier” bares its teeth in an aggressive rock fashion, and could become a theme song for women who have had too many macho ex-boyfriends (or ex-husbands). “Oh Christy” has a hypnotic guitar riff that runs through this character essay of a self-destructive person. Despite the upbeat musical arrangement of “Talk About It,” the song deals with a non-communicative relationship that is spiraling downwards with the weight of un-spoken problems.
Twelve songs in thirty-five minutes… I would be happy to have more. Swingle and King have a lot to say, and the talent to present their compositions with unique musical arrangements.