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Moth's Quirky Pop

Moth - Provisions, Fiction and Gear
(Virgin Records)
3 1/2 Stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: May 1, 2002


By Tony Bonyata

Sure, at first they may come off as Weezer without as much masking tape to hold their horn-rimmed glasses together, but without having to search much further than the second spin of Moth's major label debut Provisions, Fiction and Gear, this Ohio based band shows that they've got a strong voice of their own.
Somewhere in the vast alternative rock record bin, Moth's sound falls in between post-punk, with scrappy guitars and lyrics that are either whispered, mumbled or loudly spat out, and classic power pop, brimming with flowery melodies and punchy choruses. Thankfully, beyond this mix, you won't find anymore cash-in, cross-hybridizations of rap, techno or alt-country to water down the whole package.
Opening with the energetic pop of "I See Sound," lead vocalist Brad Stenz sings into a can, while fat and happy chords erupt during the chorus. Guitarist Bob Gayol also luckily manages to stop about two seconds short of an excessive rock 'n' roll arena guitar solo on the track, proving that timing is everything.
"Thinkin' Please" bleeds with a '90s punk mentality complete with pocket protector, while Stenz pleads and whispers in Pixies-like fashion on "Burning Down My Sanity," before the snotty, catchy chorus invades all memory. The band saves the soft-spoken "Lover's Quarrel" from the overwrought sappiness that plagues the dreaded 'power ballad,' with vocal attitude and a piercing, atmospheric guitar-line, before bassist Theodore Liscinski and drummer Atom Willard hammer out a pummeling rhythm under the squirrely, twisted guitars and lucid vocals on "Cocaine Star." They end the whole package, tucking us in with gentle Beatle-esque sensibilities that float through the comfy "Not Really."
While Moth's musical approach may not be altogether new, it sure is a lot fresher than the Linkins, Blink'ns and Sums out there today.

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