Moanin'

Moanin'

by The Hive Dwellers

CD

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Overview

With the interplay between acoustic and electric guitars, the simple but sturdy melodies, and the conversational tone of the lyrics, the Hive Dwellers are as close as Calvin Johnson is ever going to get to folk-rock, and the cover of the trio's second album, Moanin', looks and reads like a lost album by the Folksmen (maybe Calvin is secretly obsessed with A Mighty Wind). But don't let appearances fool you -- Johnson still wants to rock and has stuff on his mind, and he leaves no doubts about either on Moanin'. At first glance, the Hive Dwellers don't seem to draw a whole lot of power on Moanin', sounding as if the amps are only on 2 or 3 most of the time, but Evan Hashi's drumming gives this music plenty of body, and Johnson's big bullfrog voice is plenty commanding, even when he's aiming for wit rather than gravity. And when bassist/guitarist Gabriel Will decides to turn up and make himself heard, he brings a broad palette of colors to these songs, adding lightly echoing chords to "Ask You" and working up to big, fuzzy skronk on "Daughters of the Revolution." Lyrically, Johnson is happily pondering his usual obsessions in this set of songs -- the glories of life in his hometown ("Streets of Olympia Town"), the politics of gender in America ("Daughters of the Revolution"), and love in its many forms and guises ("Love on the Wax," "Your Kissing Me," "Baby Be Mine"). In many respects, Moanin' doesn't offer a lot in the way of surprises, but it does show that one of the pivotal figures of underground rock & roll is still flying his own flag, eagerly following his muse wherever it leads him. Quite simply, Calvin Johnson is doing just what he should be doing with the Hive Dwellers, and Moanin' is evidence he isn't running out of ideas or the will to make something of them, and that's always encouraging.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/29/2014
Label: K. Records
UPC: 0789856124923
catalogNumber: 61249
Rank: 238207

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