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MoeTar - From These Small Seeds CD (album) cover



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Mellotron Storm
4 stars MOETAR are an exciting new band from California. The keyboardist is the bass player for MIRTHKON. The star of the show though is most definetly the vocalist named Moorea who like Christina from FULANO / MEDIABANDA knows how to put on a show. And while her voice is "lights out" good, the instrumental work is often complex and stunningly well done. The vocals are diverse, theatrical and at times outrageous. It's not often that I laugh right out loud because i'm so impressed with what i'm hearing but I did at least three times while giving this my final listen before the review.

"Dichotomy" is a catchy vocal led track until we get some instrumental gymnastics before 2 1/2 minutes. "Infinitesimal Sky" again makes me exclaim "Man she can sing !". Some nice outfront guitar as well but man she's an amazing singer. "Butchers Of Baghdad" is where they slow it down, at least at first then it picks up with fast paced vocals. This is catchy. The guitar lights it up after 2 1/2 minutes. "Random Tandem" has a catchy beat as the vocals join in. She's doing it again ! I'm laughing after 3 1/2 minutes. "Ist Or An Ism" has a complex and powerful intro then it turns heavy. Strong vocals after a minute. She's showing off again 3 1/2 minutes in (haha).

"Morning Person" opens with piano then the bass and drums come in as restrained vocals follow. Chaotic guitar and sound each time she stops singing. Great track. "New World Chaos" has some excellent guitar as almost mono-toned vocals come in. The instrumental work is the focus here and it sounds amazing. "Screed" is an anti-religion song that is quite powerful. "Never Home" is slower with the focus on the vocals. Check out the powerful and chaotic intstrumental section 3 minutes in. "From These Small Seeds" has pulsating piano along with vocals as it turns heavier before settling back some. Complex instrumental work here with lots of tempo changes. "Friction" ends it with more powerful music and vocals.

Such an impressive record that is fun yet complex at the same time and always interesting. Please check them out.

Report this review (#765681)
Posted Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is an absolute blast! Labeled as crossover, but this isn't pop based to my ears. It has a lot more in common with jazz, in my opinion. Moorea Dickason can flat out sing and she often employs a style that crams a thousand words into a single musical phrase, each word a different note. She can cover a lot of ground from delicate and beautiful to raging, vocal chord splitting power. She is fantastic and the melodies are always captivating. Coupled with intelligent lyrics, Moorea's vocals are a definite strength of the band.

Speaking of the band...every player is just fantastic. The performances are tight, the arrangements sophisticated, and they play off the vocals in a delightful manner. There aren't a lot of solos per se, but many of the arrangements have the band flying, so there is plenty to impress.

If you like shorter, song based yet complex music, I cannot recommend this band enough. This is an excellent debut and I can't wait to hear the next one.

Report this review (#971598)
Posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars MoeTar were formed in 2008 by the pair of singer Moorea Dickason and bassist Tarik Ragab, who played together in the Funk band No Origin.Original formation featured also Dave Flores on drums, Matthew Charles Heulitt on guitar and Bob Crawford on keyboards, who was soon replaced by Avant Rock specialist Matt Lebofsky.The band debuted live in May 2009 at the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco and several lives followed since.For over a year they worked on their debut ''From these small seeds'' in four professional and home studios, the album eventually was released independently in 2010, re-released in 2012 on Magna Carta.Former member Bob Crawford still played Wurlitzer piano in two tracks.

The band cited Frank Zappa, Queen, XTC and Classic Prog acts like Yes and Genesis as the main influences.Do we hear these sources in the album?We certainly do.Although they sound more like a modern GENTLE GIANT, producing quirky, fast and intelligent music, some sort of innovative Avant Pop Prog with Punk and Classical touches.This is genuine music by any means, A.C.T. could be an appropriate comparison, still MoeTar sound a bit more retro-styled in the process, they even cross the borders of bands like RASCAL REPORTERS or THE MUFFINS at moments.Tracks are rather short, but the music is complex and intricate without losing much of its accesibility and freshness.Great female vocal harmonies, clever poppy tunes and progressive firepower with complicated twists, changing paces and climates in a blink of an eye, searching for the land of salvation in the genres of Jazz Fusion, Pop, Classical Music, Avant Rock or Musical.The arrangements are dense and dynamic with superb breaks and the atmosphere is extremely pleasant.Although much of the content is vocal-heavy, the instrumental background shines through, fantastic teamwork on interplays and tons of time signatures, with professional musicianship and an impressive technical level.GENTLE GIANT fans will love this to death, its modern Prog played with passion and tremendous consistency.

A highlight of the year 2010.Groundbreaking Avant-Prog-Pop with compact songwriting and an unmet instrumental delivery.Highly recommended.

Report this review (#1282829)
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Review Permalink

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