Excellent First Effort
Like peers Royal Thunder, Black Moth combine heavy stoner rock tones and a female vocalist, creating an interesting melting pot of influences. The band’s first full-length, The Killing Jar, isn’t unlike the eclectic mess of the music Royal Thunder has already found acclaim for, but it has one trick up its sleeve that others don’t: the songs are better written, to the point that Black Moth could potentially find playtime on mainstream radio. Of course, we all know that that’s unlikely, but we can hope for artists like these to break past the little niche they often find themselves nestled in.
Over the course of the album, The Killing Jar is like being trapped in a desert sandstorm. The music tends to favor twangy leads, crunchy rhythms, and pounding percussion, but perhaps the most interesting aspect is the psychedelic vocals, which are most prevalent on tracks like “Honey Lung,” the closer. While this tidbit isn’t as widespread as it should be, the addition is welcome and proves the band is open to mixing up their sound when needed.
Even so, the vocals are oftentimes too loud, not unlike a modern pop record. Because pop is typically centered on catchy, melodic vocals, the imbalance isn’t much of an issue. For Black Moth, however, it tends to overpower the excellent instrumental section of each song, which is especially noticeable on the first track, “The Articulate Dead.” Otherwise, there isn’t anything to complain about; The Killing Jar was clearly put together with listener enjoyment in mind, instead of some sort of technical escapade, in which too many modern bands are guilty of partaking.
In the end, The Killing Jar is excellent for a first effort—well, for any effort—and is encouraging of a bright career ahead. The combination of musical styles is just right, the playing is tight, and the vocals are sublime. It’s like an oasis in the middle of a desert sandstorm that you won’t ever want to leave. Recommended.