'Live free or die by the rules
Everybody is being taken for a fool.
The government we trust hangs us out to dry.
The system is corrupt can't deny the lies...'
After years of gigging and honing their craft, The Moods are about to release their debut album, Missing Peace. The hotly-tipped band has caused a stir with a live act unlike any other. The Moods fuse hip-hop, reggae, pop, and (even) brass-band with poetic and poignant lyrics. After catching the band live, it was obvious that they had an eclectic bunch of songs ready and waiting for an official release.
Missing Peace sees The Moods sculpt elements of their celebrated live set with new songs. It's uplifting from the very outset and manages to capture the classiness of the tunes whilst retaining all the euphoria of their live set. The album brims with the confidence, energy and passion of a band on the cusp of the making it big.
The ten-piece collaborative make the most of their numbers and play this to their advantage. It gives them many options and helps to create a unique sound from one track to the next. It also allows them to rotate the line-up and give an indefinable quality to their diverse canon.
P.O.P (Profit Over People) is the opening track and serves as a clear statement of intent. It is an uplifting tune that is ready and waiting for serious airplay. However, in typical Moods style, P.O.P has more to it than the great hook that initially grabs. Like a sonic Trojan horse, the album uses an upbeat form to introduce prevalent themes whilst confronting injustice and inequality.
They live up to their billing as a band that, 'make you think, make you dance.' The opening lyric sets the tone; 'Live free or die by the rules. Everybody is being taken for a fool. The government we trust hangs us out to dry. The system is corrupt can't deny the lies.'*
Both P.O.P and Joy have great videos and have had well-deserved radio play. Joy is beautifully produced with a stunningly passionate vocal over rapid-fire beats. Away from the better known tracks, the album offers many highlights: Atmosphere takes a celebratory look at clubs, dancing and MDMA. Starting with spoken-word it soon bursts into life and relentlessly rattles through a night-out at breakneck pace.
The Moods' debut offering is multi-faceted collection that showcases a variety of influences. dance, hip-hop and reggae are major touchstones on Missing Peace. The album also fizzles with an activist angst and passion similar to that of the 70s punk movement.
Together We Will Fight Them simultaneously bursts with reggae swagger and extreme confrontation. Thematically, it could easily sit alongside The Clash's London Calling. It's a genuine breath of fresh air to hear a band skilfully articulate their distaste on prominent social issues.
Lyrically, it offers razor-sharp social commentary and astute wordplay that echoes the great Marvin Gaye's What's Going On or Gill Scott Heron's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. The album closes with a call for unity on title track Missing Peace. It's a great finale and positive closing statement that offers resolution and hope.
Missing Peace is a must for fans of quality music of any genre. It's poetic, intelligent and original. The album acts as insight into a new, vibrant act with their own unique sound. It is an album that consistently entertains and informs. The existence of Missing Peace seems to immediately render most music collections incomplete.
***** It's a well earned, uplifting 5 Salford Stars out of 5.
* Watch the video for the excellent Profit Over People - click here
Pre-order the album and hear samples - click here
Missing Peace, on A1 (M) Records, is available on CD, special edition green vinyl and classic black. If you want to get a signed copy, The Moods play in store at FOPP Manchester 4th October 5:30pm.
For a full background see previous Salford Star interview with The Moods - click here
Review by Ian Leslie