Moovayla: First Degree

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Artist: Moovalya

Title: First Degree, a five song EP

Basics: Hey now, some goofy pop punk! That's more like it! Billing themselves as a "melodic punk band from Phoenix, AZ," Moovalya plays pretty run-of-the-mill rock music with an edge that was last seen wandering the streets of Anaheim in the year 2000.

A few things here: First Degree, the band's so-called debut album, has five songs on it. Unless they are crafting Godspeed You! Black Emperor type tracks, five songs does not equal an album. That's an EP, last I checked. As well, this "album" clocks in at 15:34 minutes long. Again, not an album.

Also, when I popped the CD into my computer, it came up on Gracenote as Kick in the Eye by country/folk band Bluntside. While that was pretty funny, it just makes the experience just that much more annoying.

Best Song: I was about to declare "Excuses" by Morning Benders the best song on the EP, but I realized that my iTunes had shifted from Moovayla to Morning Benders. Dammit. I guess I will go with "Hail to the Hearts." It sounds like whatever the hell Moovalya wants "melodic punk" -- is there any other kind? -- to be. It's blatantly straightforward and it sounds like it could have emerged from that burgeoning pop punk scene of the late 1990s/early 2000s. 

Worst Song: However, it is the year 2010, and unless your band deals with regaining Sundays, before-unknown glory, kids getting up or blinking one hundred and eighty two times then you're not revolutionizing the genre. I understand that pop punk is an easy genre to learn, so show some fucking innovation for a change. 

That being said, "She Will Bleed" takes the dubious distinction here. There's nothing quite like an overtly-threatening, supremely misogynistic ditty about "making the streets run red" and warning that "daddy bought a brand new gun." We know you're heartbroken, but that is the lamest, most tritely-emo way of writing some bullshit revenge song towards some girl that dumped your ass. I'm sure the guys in the band think "She Will Bleed" has some substance to it, at least I hope so. I honestly wish this song was about a girl getting her period. Then it would have at least been remotely interesting.

Suggestions: Persistence is nice and all, but don't force my YAFI hand. Album submissions are on a first-come, first-served basis. If you're knocking down my door, if you will, to get me to listen to your music, you better be backing up some pretty good shit or else my attitude towards your work will go south very, very quickly. Let that be a warning to other bands who feel the need to be fucking pushy about when I listen to their music. I have to do YAFI every week -- I will fucking listen to your album at some point.

Grade: D-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85002

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