Upon listening to The Molochs' new album, America's Velvet Glory (which graced us with its presence on January 13th, 2017), you might feel like you have been transported in time - either to the carefree days of the late 60's or the early 90's in which 'alternative' music was getting ITS first taste of the tormented world. Either way, you will discover an "unmistakably retro band with an absolute contemporary slant" - those few words alone give you a fantastic idea about the treat you are about to discover.
From the first few lines, The Molochs show their colours - their love of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground seeps through the pulsing chords as does their inspiration from The Doors. They are currently debuting their kinky sound through the Innovative Leisure label; the band has also had great support from Viceland channel's own 'Noisey', been featured in the Brooklyn Vegan, The Huffington Post and The 405. The word is out and is thoroughly well-deserved. The Molochs will also begin their first UK shows in May and grace a no doubt appreciative English audience with their classic chilled Californian vibe.
Their first video from the album for the single, "You and Me", premiered at Noisey and DID NOT go unnoticed; with its fast, upbeat tempo, as aforementioned, it feels a bit like you have stepped into a time machine and exited in 1969 with a bit of a twist - there is undoubtedly a touch of the Violent Femmes that lingers with the band, especially the unparalleled voice of the lead singer, with its significant and very distinct sound. The video for "You & Me" definitely carries the ideas and thoughts of the song - featuring a very cute, retro 50's looking gal and following her through her daily routine in her almost retro world - it's a trip on another plane that's actually refreshing to hear and watch. The song has an underlying paradoxical theme; the "I love you but I hate you" - the 'doomed to be doomed' relationship but its great fun to watch the pretty people dance and sing as they sink... it is quite a vexing tune. Of course, the perky guitar adds to the whole beautiful mess and keeps your eyes and ears glued to the screen, watch it below;
Ironically, The Molochs chose a band name after an ancient god that eats children and demands great sacrifice. The title of the album America's Velvet Glory is almost HOPEFUL in the trying years of 2016/2017, with all people who are American questioning, "What does it MEAN to be American? and can I count on my country?" A shaky foundation was set in early 2017 with a questionable new President yet I think it is a more than perfect time for a band like The Molochs to emerge and grace us with their presence and unmistakable talent - it is needed more than ever!
Singer Lucas Fitzsimmons named his band as such because he knew that he would have to make sacrifices to get to where he needed himself and his music to be - in the hands of ANYONE AND EVERYONE because he knew his words needed to be heard by someone other than himself. His personal song was one which needed to become public and sung to those who are willing to listen. You can definitely feel the urgency in his voice to be heard and to be heard NOW.
With the third song on the album, "Charlie's Lips", Fitzsimmons immerses the listener into his mind and the murky depths of his depressive state with simple, upbeat sounds and a bit of child-like laughter. We follow him on the roller coaster of one hell of a mood swing and end up smiling and sighing at the end - his goal to take the listener back to the "bootleg Dylan" era - one of the ups and downs and merry-go-rounds that never stops turning. At this point, you also expect Fitzsimmons to almost start counting off reasons for you to "Kiss Off" - it becomes that reminiscent of those Femmes (most definitely on the track "Ten Thousand") until the chord change takes a 360 degree turn and you are taken off into a world that solely belongs to The Molochs, bobbing your head and dancing around the room with glee.
Although the album is a somewhat short 33 mins, it leaves the listener with no doubts as to what Fitzsimmons is trying to convey and that is most refreshing. He most definitely does not mince words nor does it seem he would ever want to - loud and clear, whether toxic or beautiful, the contents of his heart and mind are there for the taking for the listener and it is one of the most refreshing qualities of The Molochs.
In "The One I Love", its sheer poetry - the song flows so beautifully like a breezy summers day when you and your lover are on a solitary walk - he spells out exactly what he would do for his lover and it makes you want to fall in love all over again. It is such a simple get gorgeous love song that is definitely a stand out on the album - truth is unmistakable and magnetic.
As much as The Molochs may sound like relics of the past (The Byrds came to mind almost instantly, especially in the guitar solos), they are very much rooted in the present. When you come to the end of the album, it feels as though you have gone through a journey of naked truth, heartache, remembrance and pure, sweet love. Although the band's name reflects personal sacrifice and reminds you throughout what exactly you must go through to live and to love, it is more than worth the sacrifice to get a copy of America's Velvet Glory in your hands and in your music player! Trust me, it is well worth it to enjoy a band in which honesty and their raw voices demand to be heard.