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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Moore Brothers Strike Mellow Gold

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 11:16 AM

click to enlarge moore_brothers2_thumb_250x187.jpg
Gimme Moore: the Moore Brothers
You wouldn't know it from listening to all the AutoTuner-enhanced commercial pap, er, rap on today's "Hot Urban" stations, nor will you catch a gander from classic crock, er, rock outlets, but the American music world is in the midst of an acoustic folk-pop renaissance. And San Francisco is at the center of the mellow storm, having birthed and swaddled the quote-unquote freak-folk genre (a title which initially seemed cool, but is now starting to sound a bit limited).


The Moore Brothers'
  new record Aptos--named for the sleepy Northern California surf town next to Santa Cruz--is quietly but steadily winning praise from music critics, who have compared the siblings' harmony-oriented sound to such soft rock/folk icons as America, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the Everly Brothers (what, no Don McLean, Gordon Lightfoot, or Jim Croce?).

With Aptos, their fifth record, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Moores aren't just nostalgic hippies railing against the monotony of mainstream American pop with a curio cabinet-full of oddities, but quite possibly legitimate heirs of an overlooked but still relevant legacy. "As AcousticMusic.com wrote, "There appear to be ties to the "weird folk" movement, which would explain a lot, but they don't attain to a, say, Davendra Banhart scale, too often choppy and disparate. This jars against the Simon & Garfunkel-ish vocal tone and delivery." Along the same lines, the Hartford Advocate gushed, "These Oakland-based brothers know how to shoehorn in extra, vaguely psychedelic, tidbits that serve to disrupt the cottoncandy textures. Throwing elbows into the soft-rock mix makes for an unusual tug-of-war between freaky and mellow (freaky loses out in the end)."

All in all, it's fair to say that the Moores have thusfar won over the hearts and ears of the music press so far. Their next local show isn't until May 8th, at KnockoutSF, but that should give fans of acoustic harmonies and somewhat twisted soft-pop time to get thoroughly acquainted with Aptos.

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Eric Arnold

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