Though the coronavirus threw a wrench in psychedelic-groove band Moose Almighty’s plans to release their sophomore album The Luggage Underneath in April, it allowed them to polish the songs and perfect their harmonies into the well-produced product being released today, August 7th. The nine track album clocks in at just over an hour with two epic jams surpassing the 10 minute mark, along with shorter single-worthy songs and deep grooves that show Moose Almighty’s ability to explore improvisational jams as well as muscular funk and creative interludes.
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I applaud Moose Almighty’s ability to build an atmospheric album with a signature thread of psychedelic-spaciness that ties the unique songs together. The first track and first single to be released from the album “Gilded Guilt” really shows off the new guitarist Chris Young’s chops and the real instrumental prowess this band can exhibit in their jams. Chris Young joined the band in June of 2019 and has evolved the band’s sound to new heights since their debut album Bound & Revolving from 2018. After the blistering show of guitar in “Gilded Guilt,” “Lapis Lazuli Julie” offers a more casual jaunt along an upbeat organ and a lighthearted chorus, just to take you into another hard-hitting jam “The Wave” which is over 10 minutes long and has a playful Phish-inspired sound. “Blurry Lovers” is the album’s lead single and is a lighthearted western-inspired song about a Texas one-night stand, and after the interlude of “Dutch Orange Radio,” the band dips into a muscular groove of “Spoonbender” which is less than 3 minutes long. “Impassive Aggressive” has the happy progressive jam-rock sounds of an Umphrey’s McGee song with vocals no doubt polished by the extra time they had to dedicate to the album from the pandemic pause. At over 16 minutes, “Voice of the Universe” is the longest song on the album and the epitome of the space-y atmospheric exploration through each of the band’s strengths, including lyrics, pounding keys and experimental guitar. “Six Plus Five” ends the album on a strong note with absolutely beautiful soaring guitar riffs playing in tandem with the jubilant keys, taking a respite from vocals in order to let these instruments shine.
Moose Almighty is a mighty jam band for jam fans, exhibiting all of the best qualities of an improvisational band while showing lyrical and instrumental range. The result is a cohesive collection of songs impressive for a second album. Don’t miss the band’s live performance of the album from front to back, performed at the High Dive in Seattle and available to stream tonight!