There’s definitely something going on down the 90 in Fredonia. The proximity of Dave Fridmann’s Tarbox Road Studios in nearby Cassadaga, NY has contaminated the water or affected the electromagnetic fields emanating in that area in a way that wildness and psychedelia have become hallmarks of Fredonia’s music scene, which is of course a huge boon for WNY’s music scene. Case in point: Mooses, a young four piece from Fredonia who dropped itsdebut EP, Tales From The Elephant’s Nest, a tight and bold five song collection that sounds sweet in the ears and screams “POTENTIAL,” last week.
Mooses get things started with the snarling, schadenfreude and 90’s drenched “Hypocrite’s Fall,” a slow burner that lures you in with restrained buildup before unleashing evocative new wave vocals reminiscent of Robert Smith and stirring Bends worthy guitars. The new wave swagger continues on the exuberant “Bette Davis,” a straight ahead rave up complete with chiming guitars, an infectiously danceable groove, and a shamelessly yearning chorus that demands a sing along. Some heavy, sludgy psychedelics get offered up on the studiously schizophrenic “Backwash,” which successfully marries post punk new wave and 70’s stoner rock.
Mooses show impeccable control, taste, and aural ambition on Tales From The Elephant’s Nest, with unexpected timing changes, a dense and layered sound, and a sharp sequencing of morphing grooves and ideas. Lead off track, “In Case They’re Wonderin’,” sets the stage for the psychedelia laid down on “Backwash,” shifting into a vaguely sinister 60’s psychedelic pop sound that swaps new wave romanticism for snarling menace and sounds like it was recorded underwater. With the EP wrapping up with the anthemic and atmospheric “Psilivoir,” Mooses declare that they’re going to be a force on the Fredonia and WNY scene and push the sound forward. Tales From The Elephant’s Nest is a sonically intoxicating debut, and a great soundtrack wasted summer nights, late night beach bonfires, and weird art happenings.