Moonlight Towers | Day Is the New Night (Chicken Ranch)

 

cd moonlight-towersHow much you get out of Day Is the New Night depends on your tolerance levels for hard rock in the broad vein of Bon Jovi.

 

 

Austin, Texas’ Moonlight Towers make no pretense toward being anything but straightforward, barroom rock ’n’ roll, albeit served with a side of arena rock bombast. “We just wanna make people dance,” to quote frontman James Stevens.

How much you get out of Day Is the New Night depends on your tolerance levels for hard rock in the broad vein of Bon Jovi. Stevens’ voice often recalls a slightly less screechy Axl Rose. There’s a lot of Guns N’ Roses influence, but as if the music had been stripped of most of the over-the-top guitar heroics and swagger that made GNR so goofy-compelling in the first place.

“Baby Don’t Slow Me Down” is livened up by a punchy horn section, and “Not a Kid Anymore” adds a slight bit of shade with propulsive piano. Album finale “Black River” is one of the few tracks that perk up your ears a bit, mixing up the 4/4 stomp with extended guitar soloing and a end-of-the-set crescendo.

It’s easy to picture encountering these guys at a no-frills bar, pounding out a heartfelt set and getting your head bobbing along, saying “Hey, this isn’t so bad” after a couple of beers. There’s not a lot of depth, but it does what it says on the tin. You have to respect that—how often can anyone say, with a straight face, “Mission accomplished?” C- | Mike Rengel

RIYL: Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, the South City bar band circuit

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