Local Love: Cool Moon
Cool Moon. Photo: Scott Doyle
Sometimes I get by with a little help from my friends, and when your friends book shows, you get the skinny on what’s worth checking out from time to time. So when John Baldwin told me that I had to go catch the band Cool Moon sooner rather than later, I made it a point to catch the three-piece at their next show. What transpired was catching a band that embodies so much of the indie rock sound I’ve always adored, so much that I became an immediate fan. Last year, the group recorded some demos and then released them for free as August 2015 Demo. In four songs Cool Moon does more with their mix of catchy indie rock and bedroom pop vocals than most bands do on proper releases with longer length.
The band wastes no time in getting started with a mix of catchy fuzz and indie rock structuring on the opening track, “Count Down.” There’s something about how Andrea Lisi’s vocals hit with hints of Mary Lou Lord while her guitar blends with the precisioned fusion between Mercy Harper’s bass and Ramzi Beshara’s drums to create a sound that sticks to your senses like the first time you smelled lavender. There are sweet little hints of sincerity in the vocals while the nineties indie rock structures of the song remind you of bands like Dinosaur Jr and Sugar. They change direction a bit on the second track, “Standing” when Lisi starts off with a vacant guitar and her lone vocals. Sounding closer to music from Colleen Green or the lo-fi sounds of early Liz Phair, Cool Moon shows another side while still keeping their hooks rooted deep within your cheeks.
They combine the sentiments of the first two tracks when the third song comes in on “Wait.” Keeping with a slower tempo while incorporating the higher gain on the guitar and the snappier percussive elements, the use of dual vocals and a more cohesive sound make the track a real homerun. There are moments where the song feels like it will pop off with the steady build that the band utilizes while Lisi glues the track together with sweet vocals that sound like someone crying out to whoever will listen. The band returns to their quicker speed on the closing track, “Camping.” Sounding almost like a Mineral song with better vocals, there are signature changes that hop on and off while the group keeps things from coming off the rails. Their use of drums in the top of the mix alongside the guitar getting moments alone add a depth to the song that really make it one that you can’t help but place on repeat. In the last quarter of the song, there’s a bridge that makes you realize that Cool Moon do things their own way, and taking such leaps is what sets them apart from everyone else that you hear attempting to live within the true indie rock genre.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t love this band both in how they sound live on on these demos. Reminding me of everything I loved about The Promise Ring without ever ripping them off, Cool Moon do a great job of forging their own path in a genre that’s overcrowded with bands that never seem to understand that doing things different is what makes a band stand out for the better. You can catch Cool Moon when they open for Lemuria at Walters on Thursday August 18. The all ages show features sets from Looming, The Reptilian, Middlechild and Mouthing, has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.