It all opens with hazy plucked-out chords, and Cahlstadt’s one-of-a-kind vocals. The sound of lazy exhaustion, like the end of a long, adventurous summer. As the drums build and DeMartino’s beautiful lead lines escalate, we’re roped into Mooses’ world. And it’s a strange, beautiful, colorful world. The track is an odd way to begin an album, as it feels more in media res than an overture or grand opening, but Mooses aren’t exactly the kind of band to employ cliche techniques. When the dust settles, we’re graced with the opening falsetto oohs and chorus-effected guitars of “Bette Davis,” the album’s most ..pop.. moment. Showcasing Cahlstadt’s inflected vocals, the song drives you along through the Mooses’ psych pop exhibit at breakneck speeds for about three minutes and drops off into an abyss. In rebirth and rebuild, we’re pulled out of the abyss and back onto the road and accelerate forward.
“Bette Davis” isn’t just a song, it’s a journey.
From there, Mooses pull every influence from the bag and deconstruct 3/4 psych jams and post-punk bursts of energy, vasolating between Pink Floyd and the Pixies in one song (“Blackwash”). The trippy, fuzz-blues, acid jam of “In Case They’re Wonderin'” prove Mooses’ affinity for oddball synths and massive leads. The song is so overdriven that every instrument meshes together in a perfect burst of color and light. It’s blistering. Just blistering. And they’re “doin’ fine.” After its massive outro chords, “Psilovoir” comes to calm and comfort, like a lullaby in the aftermath of a hurricane.
“Tales From the Elephant’s Nest” is more than just an album. It’s a manifesto. A how-to book. If you’re going to write a psych/alternative/indie album, just do this exactly. Somehow, they’ve given us everything we know about music and made it sound like nothing we’ve ever heard before. It’s almost perfect in composition, in execution, and in relevance. It’s in another world. This is the album all other Buffalo albums this year will be judged by.
Recommended for fans of Tame Impala, Yuck, Flaming Lips
Buy the album:
Follow the band:
Catch them live:
Sept. 27- The EBC (Fredonia, NY)
Oct. 2- The Forvm (Buffalo, NY)