It's rare when a 3-month-old band figures out that the secret to a lasting impression is playing from the heart.
Gritty and searing with a blue-collar sound sound that's as distinctive as the lingering smell from a campfire, Moving Machines forgoes a commercial vibe for something that is instead addictingly honest and transparent. There's stomping and clapping and unpolished edges that don't quite align properly -- and the whole thing is damn near perfect.
Flirting between indie-rock, psychedelic-folk and something a Modest Mouse/Bright Eyes supergroup might create if their only muse was Willie Nelson, the record grows increasingly impressive with each listen. "Mean Ol' Man" has an age to it that sounds like a story my grandfather would have told me "when your'e old enough to understand," while the electric guitar and female harmonies on "Narrow Road" add a southern twang that hit in waves.
Mixing the crude sound of amplified guitar with bells, soft drums, and piano, vocalist Bryan Francisco has created an album that screams with its gentle yet purposeful approach. Musicians spend their entire careers trying to achieve the heft and clarity present on nearly every inch of the record, which is an excellent starting point for a Seattle band with 31 "Likes" on Facebook.
Or, at the very least, it'd make an excellent pick for pretty much any Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Except for Inglorious Bastards. The "Nazi vibe" is sort of lacking.