Alternative music reviews

Moorebeck Stellar

Blind Mans Waltz June 2003

Moorebeck Stellar are Andrew Phillips and Elliot Quincy from Milwaulkee. This is a lo-fi production where you can hear the rough edges and it just adds to the feeling that you are in on the emergence of a real talent. Musically and vocally this is a brave, confident debut. There are sounds and textures that just haven't been put together in this way before and they add to the unsettling yet romantic songs. Its thoughful, sometimes sad, and sometimes just plain inspiring.

Carry Me Home just perfect as the piano-based song that deals with introspection and longing for some escape - it sways (rather than rocks) just beautifully. Beneath The Hay is what 16 Horsepower might sound like with acoustic instruments - rural tales of longing from the Bible Belt. There is a bonus track that is the first example of alternative folk rap I've ever heard. Unfashionably late for the afterlife - sampled preacher - the story of Job - hung like a pigeon - bit of 16 horsepower guitar - echo piano. It's funny and good; and a little bit frightening that they can just mix all those elements so easily. I have also to add a mention of Phillip Neville Mahlstadt who provides the harmonica to Inside Your Mind, Phillip's contribution stands out like Bob Dylan walking in to the recording session before leaving to crash his motorbike.

Quite unlike anything I've heard before, but it still sounds familiar in the sense that it immediately got under my skin. The only comparisons I can make are to the early albums of Songs:Ohia and Palace Music, but this sounds better and more fully formed. That's about the biggest complement I can pay any band. File under Maverick, American, and Brilliant.


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