ARTIST: Ravens Moreland
ALBUM: Sin Has a Soundtrack
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
On his second solo release, Bruce Moreland, best known for his work in seminal New Wave band Wall of Voodoo, amps up the L.A. punk aggression. While his previous release, Lock Up Your Mothers, was a little like a dirtier, grittier version of The Velvet Underground set in Los Angeles instead of New York, this six-song EP is more like The Stooges: punk in its attitude, garage in its production values, and rock 'n' roll in its blackened heart. L. Ron Jeremy of cult L.A. death rock act Frankenstein contributes extra guitars to several tracks, and it shows in the bass-heavy rock grooves of the deliciously sinister "Cat on Fire" and feedback-damaged shredding of "Reality." Further adding to the mood are Moreland's own keyboard performances on "169," with spooky church organs that are less gothic in the traditional sense and more like Ray Manzarek's work in The Doors, conjuring a sense of the dark side of '60s rock psychedelia, a mood also expressed by "Frankie," a punk rock ballad of death in the desert south of the border. "Mexican Radio" this isn't; Moreland has retained the weirdness of Wall of Voodoo in his wavering keyboards and fuzzed out guitars, but his solo stuff is more mean than quirky. Take a trip to Mexico with his crew, and you won't be on the radio; you'll be bleached bones in the sand, picked clean by the vultures of the Sonoran desert, an empty bottle of tequila clutched in your decaying fingers.
Visit Ravens Moreland at www.ravensmoreland.com to hear the real soundtrack of sin.
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