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Moths - Moths Award winner

by Dave Nowels at 20 September 2018, 2:15 AM

Coming to us from San Juan, Puerto Rico are MOTHS with their intriguing and promising self-titled EP release “Moths”. I specifically requested this release to review based on seeing it contained  a cover of KING CRIMSON. I mean, that’s a bold undertaking. Even more so as it’s a cover of “21st Century Schizoid Man”. More on that later. I’m embarrassed to admit I wasn’t aware that there was a happening Metal scene in Puerto Rico. If MOTHS are an example of what the archipelago has to offer in terms of Metal, I need to book my trip. This EP is impressive, and deserving of your attention. The EP opens with “Lepidoptera”, a song titled after the scientific name of, you guessed it, moths. With a building, buzz like intro, you’re instantly drawn to this track, like a moth to a… well, you know.

The song launches into a heavy riff driven pace, and almost immediately we’re introduced to Damaris Rodriguez and her vast vocal capabilities. At times growling, other times clean, and then from out of nowhere, it’s Dickenson like. Rodriguez’s clean vocals remind me somewhat of Johnette Napalitano of CONCRETE BLONDE. It’s an interesting mix, and one that works really well throughout the EP. Musically, this track jumps about, twisting here and weaving there. There’s Sludge, Stoner and a really nice topping of Prog. At times it is absolutely HEAVY as hell. It’s a really good start. Next up is “Adhara & Ray”, and it’s probably my favorite track. Once again we have the band weaving in and out, from one time signature to another as Rodriguez continues to impress with her vocals. Her voice is rich and chameleon like, and at times in “Adhara & Ray” I’m even reminded of Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction.

Miranda and Gonzalez’s guitar work are outstanding throughout, but really show their brilliance when they touch on the Progressive influences. Not to be overlooked, the bass work from Negron is a fantastic groove as is Figueroa’s drumming. Collectively, this band has a special sound, and it really shines on this track. “Desires” continues where “Adhara & Ray” left off, maintaining at least initially, a similar theme. Not to be complacent, it nearly immediately jumps into its own individuality. The mid song guitar work here is simply stunning. Its jazzy, jammy and psychedelic in all the right places. It oozes tone. MOTHS close this one out with the aforementioned bold undertaking of covering KING CRIMSON. Spoiler alert….they completely pull it off.

Originally composed by guitarist Robert Fripp, bassist Greg Lake, Michael Giles and Ian McDonald, it’s a complex piece, bouncing back and forth from 4/4 and 6/8 time. The band interprets it masterfully, and respectfully. Featuring lyrics written by Peter Sinfield and originally sung by Greg Lake, Rodriguez continues her streak and knocks this one out of the park, impressively at that. This isn’t the first time the song has been covered. Artists from OZZY to APRIL WINE have covered it, and even KANYE WEST has sampled it. It’s long been my favorite KING CRIMSON track and, this just might be my favorite cover version of it.

MOTH’s EP release shows tremendous promise. The musicianship here is top notch as are the songs represented. Consider me intrigued for their future. I’ll definitely be revisiting this EP often and keeping my eyes and ears open for what they have still to come. You should too.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Lepidoptera
2. Adhara & Ray
3. Desires
4. 21st Century Schizoid Man
Damaris Rodriguez – Vocals
Jonathan Miranda – Guitars
Omar Gonzalez – Guitars
Weslie Negron – Bass
Daniel Figueroa - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 27 January 2023

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