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The Moondoggies: Tidelands

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Artist: The Moondoggies

Title: Tidelands
Release date: October 12
Label: Hardly Art

Well, well, well, whaddaya know? There is something called the "rock canon," and it's right here in one handy bound volume. There's also this less-formal version, which is mostly the favorites of the white old guard.

But we'll get back to that topic at another time. Today's topic is The Moondoggies, a band from Seattle that would not seem out of place opening for the likes of Band of Horses or Blitzen Trapper. These guys are heavily influenced by 1970s country-rock and acts like Neil Young and America. But The Moondoggies don't mind dipping their toes into the jam-band pool.

Singer Kevin Murphy's vocals resemble a plaintive howl and his backup singers provide lonesome, distant harmonies, which are the best aspect of this record. The band occasionally employs banjo, fiddle, and pedal steel to add color to the sound. But for the most part, Tidelands is a downbeat affair, and the flow of one languid song after another eventually came to remind me of thick syrup dripping over the side of a stack of pancakes.

01 It's a Shame, It's a Pity by The Moondoggies

Best song: The title track, a minor-key, Petty-esque mid-tempo rocker.
Rotation: Low-medium
Deja Vu: One of the more forgettable Neil Young efforts
I'd rather listen to: Oddly, the most recent Band of Horses, which I'm not even that crazy about.
Grade: C

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.


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