Photo: Victoria Rich
& LIVE REVIEWS
Amplifier #24 May/June 2001
MOTHS Lepid Opera - LunaSea Records
The opening snarls on Lepid Opera will make you do a double take for Beggar’s Banquet era
Mick Jagger, but that’s where the similarity to classic rock ends. Like their Lower East
Side of Manhattan ancestors The Velvet Underground, The Moths’s sound is sometimes aggressive
and at other times tempered and melodic. Even their song titles borrow from the groundbreaking
kings of alternative rock, with tracks like “Walk into the Sun” and “Sunday Morning.”
However, the Moths blaze a trail similar to the long lamented Pixies and the ragged glory of Dinosaur Jr.
with a driving jagged-edged guitar attack that never seems to run out of fresh ideas.
The key to their charisma is the band’s roller coaster use of dynamics, which rise and fall as
if they were in a live performance before a packed house. Lyrically, the Moths appeal to alienated
outsiders especially with the mix of anger and sadness of “Enthusiastic Loser,” a good crying in your beer
at the Rathskellar anthem that’s sure to crack the college radio playlists. “Wesley Willis” is an
avant-garde disco rave up that pays tribute to one of Manhattan’s most bizarre street performers.
The heavy country twang and faux drawl of “Hibbing” is downright funny, and “Holler” bellows with
acrobatic shards of guitar licks that would impress even the most jaded of post-grunge rock stars.