You know how you and a few of your friends who listen to way too much prog rock, and that dude who you just met at a show last week and got a little too drunk with, are always talking about starting that local supergroup? How everyone will use all of their favorite effects pedals and really dope nature samples and every song will feel inspired and meaningful and the lyrics will be thoughtful yet creative and everything will come naturally? Well it’s too late because the stars have already aligned and brought together Moss Jaw, the best and brightest Kalamazoo has to offer. Bummer for you, but great for the rest of us!
Moss Jaw made a huge debut at Audiotree Music Fest 2018, one of the few bands actually from Kalamazoo, where the music festival was hosted. Featuring the familiar faces of members from The Reptilian (RIP), Vines, and Rancho Unicorno, the Kalamazoo music scene vets pull no punches with their first release.
The songs on Moss Jaw’s first full length “Embody” flow into each other as if they are one stream of consciousness, with only the amount of time in between breaths to prepare for the next thought. Like briefly waking up from a dream and gently floating into another, time and time again, from song to song. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the songs start and end, where I begin and my dreams end, where the hours have gone and how I will spend the next moments.
The amazing vocals on “Detritus,” the swelling atmosphere of “Dirty Dishes,” the guitar interplay of “What is Your Composition,” the entire everything that makes up “Bone;” it’s hard to play favorites with this album. “Bone” immediately stood out to me upon the first listen, it grabbed my attention and shook me out of a hazy day dream to refocus on the present moment, and it still has that grasping affect upon every relisten.
Listening to this album is like spending a sunny day at the park in a hammock, in and out of a nap and kicking a soccer ball around with a friend, losing track of time and anything of consequence. Instead of daydreaming about how sick it would be to be stomping on your favorite flange pedal leading into the catchiest hook on your masterpiece of an album, Moss Jaw went out and did those things and recorded it on an album for us to listen to and enjoy. I’m not sure if it was out of spite or they just beat me to the super-group punch, but I’m all the more grateful for them having done it.
A bit of parting advice: don’t dare to indulge in the recently legalized marijuana in the form of a nicely rolled joint and listen to this record unless you intend to disassociate from your immediate surroundings and become one with the universe.
Listen and purchase the album here: https://mossjaw.com/