CD Review: The Moondoggies — You’ll Find No Answers Here EP; Playing with Blitzen Trapper at Variety Playhouse, June 9
You’ll Find No Answers Here EP
By Ellen Eldridge
The title of The Moondoggies’ You’ll Find No Answers Here EP comes from the closing track, “Fly Mama Fly” which means the listener will travel through four songs loosely based on love and contemplation before arriving at the conclusion that there really is nothing to be learned. That in an of itself might peak the interest of those who enjoy songs about reflection and philosophy, but, unfortunately, this is only learned in retrospect after the EP ends.
These are the songs cut from the forthcoming full-length, though, so the EP works well as an introduction to the band and, for fans, works well as a treasured limited release addition to Moondoggies collections. The first track, “It’s Hard to Love Someone” betrays its forlorn title with the piano melody and upbeat rhythms found in drum fills and cymbal crashes make this tune feel more like a jam band celebration than an inside look at the trials of loving another. Even lyrically, the song lacks a sense of sentiment. By the second track, “Just Makes Sense to Me,” the lack of emotion changes dramatically and one can instantly connect with the quiet guitar and drearily toned vocals. Though it ends in under two minutes, it urges those fueled by that sense of introspection onward into, “Down the River” which acts as a folk song sung by a lovely duet of male and female vocals. The singing matches well with the simple strumming and would be a fine addition to campfire tunes. Inspired lyrics like, “Words do not fit her; when she speaks I hear a melody,” stand out in this song.
The closing of the third track is the beginning of the “no answers” conclusion with the line, “I really know nothing at all.” Bands influenced by both Blind Melon and The Grateful Dead could come up with “Sad and Lonely,” but lyrically it lacks that connection these bands seemed to have. A clichéd chorus remarks, “she makes me sad and lonely,” and floats past unmemorably. The closing track, “Fly Mama Fly” is the reason to purchase You’ll Find No Answers Here, as it finalizes and adds closure to the ideas hinted at musically and lyrically in the earlier songs. This final track also adds a sense of eagerness to those anticipating the full-length album to be released. What makes this song stand out it the dynamics in the instruments; the rising and falling of volume on the guitars and the resounding harmonization breaking into a cascade of ooohs adding more sustenance to the song. Check out the EP as an introduction to The Moondoggies and catch them on tour with Blitzen Trapper this summer.