Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Moe., The Conch

Although they’ve been around for awhile, The Conch is the first Moe. album I’ve listened to so I can’t comment on how well it fits or doesn’t fit with their previous work.  They attracted attention moeas a post-Phish jam band and that background is apparent on The Conch in both the broad range of music they play and in the high quality of their musicianship.  As for range, disc opener “Blue Jean’s Pizza” sounds like a lost Steely Dan tune from one of the early albums when Jeff “Skunk” Baxter played guitar.  Later on we get “The Road” which has more than a hint of Southern rock but that would be Southern rock as flavored with a bit of marimba.  Between the two Moe. plays all kinds of guitar-driven rock.  As for musicianship, these guys can play.  They’re tight, confident and comfortable with each other.  What you don’t get on The Conch is the kind of aimless noodling that is often associated with jam bands, in fact, some of the tracks are undeveloped fragments that last around a minute.  The complete songs are just that, songs.  Sometimes there is an extended solo passage but the solos tend to have been thought out ahead of time with a beginning, middle and end.  No jamming in hopes of catching fire here.

As singers and songwriters Moe. are kind of ordinary.  None of the songs really stand out and they sing like a group of guys who can hold a tune but who don’t have strong voices.  The playing is the thing here, especially the guitars, and the playing is very good indeed.


04/04/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music


  1. Hi. I liked your review of The Conch, but wanted to make a short comment to add to it. I have been a HUGE Moe. fan for several years now, and although I like The Conch, it doesn’t really reflect the style they exhibited in pervious albums. It was nice to listen to a band I love and hear something different, but if you enjoyed this album I think you would really enjoy their older stuff. I would reccommend Dither or Wormwood for people who are new to moe.

    Comment by Lynzee | 11/01/2007 | Reply

  2. […] a review of their prior album, Conch, I opined that moe.s weak spot was vocals.  Oops.  Turns out I was pretty far off base with that […]

    Pingback by Review, moe., Sticks and Stones « Tuned In To Music | 06/25/2008 | Reply

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