Long Island, NY natives, Moon Tooth released their sophomore album back in March. The moment I heard it, I was blown away – the future of rock music could literally be shouldered on this band. Crux is just that damn good.
As far as opening tracks go, Truth is perfect. It does wonders to announce the bands presence, and give us hints of all that is to follow. Superb musicianship, interesting play with timing and exceptional vocals from John Carbone.
Omega Days continues on brilliantly. Chugging guitars, subtle intricacies, pounding rhythm from drummer Ray Marte and unique vocal harmonies from Marte and Guitarist Nick Lee really make this track, and the band as a whole stand out, head and shoulders above the rest.
For Through Ash, Moon Tooth scale back the rock and opt instead for a a track that’s moody and emotive, very much progressive in its nature. Musketeers sees the band invoke a sound that rests somewhere between Tool, Deftones and Mastodon – in fact there are similarities between the main vocalists voice and that of Maynard James Keenan, not just on this song, but throughout the album, that are hard to ignore.
Thorns is a hard rock banger, made complete by the excellent and powerful vocals, chugging rhythm and guitar subtleties that add to the depth and structure of the song. Rhythm & Roar is an immense beast, while Motionless in Sky offers up a subdued number that features some of the best guitar work of the record. This is a real highlight.
Thumb Spike provides us with thundering bass and some of the most metal moments of the entire record. Awe at All Angles does indeed inspire awe from the listener as we marvel at the precision playing – there is an abundance of complexity to their wild time signatures and structuring.
The title track is sleek and streamlined – there are still mammoth riffs on offer, but the weird and wonderful timing is swept aside in favour of a more basic approach – and they nail that stripped back style too. Raise A Light (Epilogue) is the closer, and it sees us off in fine fashion. Crux has been an exceptional listening experience for me.
Moon Tooth have bags of talent, a style of playing that will make them appeal to most genres of heavier music and most importantly, the ability to write great intelligent songs. They really do have a huge future ahead of them.
Review by Shayne McGowan