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[Music Review] - Hattie Moore - Faces For Sale EP


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Mystified psychedelia fills the air as “Faces for Sale EP” begins to play. A recording long awaited by fans in the local music scene with hard effort and much devotion by the band to be able to put it out. Lead Guitarist Mike Cipressi is leader of the bands sound with grungy groove oriented guitar leads. Creative and often enjoyably technical drummer Mike Hirth backs Cipressi's guitar parts with catchy and imaginative drumming parts. - These two key factors alone make the band listening to and worth checking out, so how exactly is the recording?

“Excuse me it seems I've dosed off, I'm right here but my heads in the clouds” states the chorus to the opening track “Los Arboles”, Spanish for “The Trees” it is no secret this song is tainted with inspiration from many smoke filled nights. The song is backed by an interesting drum track with nice and exciting fills at the right moments that really move the song along, Brandon Garcin sings in a crooning moan as if he is heavily under the influence and expressing his message. The bass track follows the guitar well and is solid and right on, including a catchy little fill that catches the listeners ear, Sean Nash shows his solidness as a bass player. Towards the end of the song the chorus picks back up with more drive and emotion than before creating a seemingly flowing wall of sound.

Oddly titled, “You Drive a Hard Bargain, Edward Norton”, It's hard to exactly figure out what this song could be about but I feel a vibe from Edward Norton's role in “American History X” as a possible inspiration for this song. “When have we ever been free” the song questions, as Cipressi lays down raunchy psychedelic guitar leads. A tripped out little portion towards the end of the song sounds like rain drops on acid falling from the sky before the song concludes.

Track 3 “Familiar Stranger” brings Bassist Sean Nash to lead vocals for a powerful and catchy song. The lead guitar part Cipressi lays down is undeniably catchy and sticks in your head as soon as it begins to play. Nash sings in a powerful way stating each word as if in an angered state being on the streets. The song flows with Neon lights on a dark night, tinged with cocaine euphoria on the sleazy streets of a city. It's a song to listen to walking at night, under the grasp of the city lights while dragging on a cigarette. It is a perfect example of what the band Hattie Moore is all about, it contains a catchy indie rock flow, with early 90's grunge and the powerful sleazy style of hard rock forced in your face by Guns N Roses. Cipressi ends the song with a killer solo, tight track and really paints an image.

Bass grooving launches off “Bad Chemical” until the guitar track blares out in Red Hot Chili Pepper style and begins to scratch, scream and moan over the bass track. Garcin sings in a moaning way as if he is pointing fingers at whom and what he is singing about – the song has some cool little breaks and chill groove parts before each chorus kicks in where Garcin declares “It's a bad chemical” with power and emotion that flows, is catchy and just works. Ending the song with a chilled out bass outro to appropriate drumming by Hirth.

Damp, the one word to describe this song was dead on when the band decided to title the song. - Dreamy distorted acoustics delay and flow around in a circular motion then the bass kicks in grooving beats up and down until the half-sleeping dreamy voice of Garcin begins to flow onto the mix. The chorus flows with some double bass drum action by Hirth and an Irish inspired tinge to the vocal melody. The song has the feeling of chilling out in a damp basement, minor amounts of depression or belongingness is evident in the overall feeling of the song, its like someone searching for the right partner but never being able to find them, and always trying to keep themselves “Afloat” but being overshadowed by the dampness of it all. One of the best tracks on the album for sure, just because of the feeling the song gives out.

Pure early 90's grunging metal describes track 6 “Gamble Your Freedom” an awesome throwback to bands like “Stone Temple Pilots, Sound Garden, and Pearl Jam”. Garcin declares that “Freedom is Over-rated” and while listening you couldn't possibly agree more. The song has small stops in the action as Hirth grooves along with catchy drum fills. The songs chorus has a powerful and chill feel at the same time, questioning “So who's the one pulling the strings?”. Cipressi then brings it back together with his heavy and sharp riff. Until Hirth ends the song in Double Bass drum fashion.

The EP then displays the longest track “Electric Fleas” Clocking at almost 6 minutes, Hattie Moore is able to display a little bit more instrumentalism and their jammy capabilities. The main riff demands respect as you groove to it, and a leading guitar part immerses you into it, and makes it seem as if you are traveling through the song at amazing speeds. The song builds up like its ready to explode, and surprisingly slows down into the vocal part. Awesome high pitched guitars follow Garcin's vocal melody up until the chorus explodes. Possibly the most developed chorus the band has ever put together, it really flows and captures you into the song with the power and emotion flowing from both the instruments and the voice of the band Garcin, He screams and belts out in high pitched moans, “So I'm Taking the next train!” and I can safely say that no matter what the song was originally written about, the listener can connect to it and reflect the message onto their own life. Songs that have the ability to do this are always fantastic, and this of course is no exception. Cipressi solos around during the ending chorus as Garcin displays the bands odd sense of lyricism “Like theres a Space-Ship in my brain”. We don't have to question exactly what the band means, it's all about feeling, and sometimes the little mysteries behind certain vocal lines make it more interesting.

Finally, the EP comes to a close with the ending track “This is a Song”. Tambourine backs behind floaty sounding chords until the lead guitar comes in and ends when Garcin somberly sings yet with a slight tinge of joy evident. The bass breaks in, and then everything begins to wind back together and back into Garcin's singing as he sings low and higher in the style of Rush's Geddy Lee. This song has a minor Rush kind of ballad to it, while giving of a strong indie rock, and obscure 60's psychedelic rock vibe to it. It's the most stripped down song Hattie Moore displays, and at the same time it does the most and has the most little parts and interesting things to capture your attention. “What difference does the truth make?” It displays teenage mindset and the power of word and exactly what the thinking process of the age group is like. The song goes up and down and always remains constant in the fact that no matter which turn it makes, it's a good decision.

The recording is finally out for all to hear Orange, Connecticut's best kept secret. Hattie Moore is rising in the local music scene and is soon destined to explode out, and hopefully this recording will help that process along. The songs are moody, distorted, heavy, druggy, happy, depressing, and mystifying and often all at the same time. The band displays a keen knack to display multiple emotions through-out one song or lyrical thought. “Faces for Sale EP”'s best tracks would be the powerful and neon lit “Familiar Stranger”, The depressing but true feeling “Damp”, and the hard hitting early 90's style grunge of “Gamble Your Freedom”. With that said, not one song on the album is bad, but I found the only lower point of the album to be “Bad Chemical”. By no means is this song a bad song, I just found it to have the least amount of power and interesting song mechanics that the other songs displayed. You can't go wrong by listening to this piece of music and from personal experience, trust me the band is even greater sounding live, with a fresh feeling of energy and vibes of excitement and genuine youth in the music. Hattie Moore demands attention with this release, and attention they get.

Final Rating 9/10 – Outstanding debut effort, especially with all things considered.

- Wind

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