The Moles – Instinct

June 10, 2008

The Moles


For better or worse, Richard Davies’ orchestral obsessions took hold on the Moles and the result is Instinct. Now, I really love this mini-lp and his eventual shedding of his grubbier past for peacock feathers and strings with Cardinal, but it was kind of shocking and abrupt. Untune the Sky, his earliest efforts posted on the blog a few days ago, saw Davies’ mastery of a fuzzy, sort of off-kilter psychedelic indie pop song. Instinct finds Davies unhappy with past efforts and he has shaken the Moles to the core.

Instead of English Nuggets, indie-pop and the Bats, Chills and Verlaines, we find Van Dyke Parks and Nilsson as new bedmates. To be honest, this comparison isn’t totally honest because I still haven’t heard a parallel to some of the sounds found here. I remember some godawful term called “ork-pop” used to describe Cardinal, but i cannot protest too much since I repeatedly cited the term “post-rock” when I worked for Alternative Press. Neither are appropriate. There is something inherently prog about all of these tracks, but the influence of Untune the Sky grounds it before it gets too floofy.

I sound conflicted, but I really do love this album. Davies’ remains a wordsmith in the vein of the Davies’ brothers and and truly has a way with words. He builds worlds within songs and if you but into his musical worldview, it is a rich experience. I like Untune the Sky better, but this middle ground is very enlightening in the context of what comes after. What comes after? Well, I will post the rest throughout the week.