The Thin Cherries — On Moose Island
((Not on label) no#, 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-09-02
I had somewhat mixed feelings about The Thin Cherries’ debut album a couple of years ago. With On Moose Island, all of my reservations seem to have been addressed, and I can wholeheartedly recommend the band to fans of jangly modern psychedelic rock — not that I’m implying that I deserve any credit for the changes. These catchy tunes feature a variety of guitar sounds aside from the jangly, and keyboards provide good backing, along with excellent harmony vocals. There’s a balance between upbeat tunes and more reflective moods, and listeners should never get bored from too much sameness. While the band’s core does relate closely to psychedelic sounds going back to the 60s, there are elements of 70s power pop (Big Star and the like), as well as elements of 80s Paisley Underground. There’s also a hint of 80s music along the lines of Echo and the Bunnymen and Game Theory. The keyboards do not fetishize vintage sounds, with some synthesizer melodies that don’t sound at all out of place and enhance the 80s vibe. What really shines is the quality of the songwriting, with good melodies and chord progressions that provide a good mix of the expected and surprising. Close attention is paid to textures, with tasteful use of reverb to provide atmosphere without overwhelming the immediacy of the music. For fans of well-crafted psych-rock that doesn’t lean towards the garage side, On Moose Island should find a welcome spot on the shelf (whether real or metaphorical).
Related artist(s): The Thin Cherries
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