February 16, 2009

Mod-A-Day: Mooney Suzuki

Loud. Bluesy. Rawkin. That could describe any number of bands from The Doors, to Zeppelin to even Jet and Lenny Kravitz. But, add in huge, overwhelming doses of garage punk, a sixties sense of how to balance soul with screaming, and you get something totally different. Mooney Suzuki.

If you like drums pounding, guitars crunching, and a vocal driven band that knows both how to mix it up, and how to play by the rules, then you will love Mooney Suzuki. Mooney Suzuki? Where the hell do you get a name like that? Apparently like this.
"Their name is taken from the first two singers of the 1970s German Krautrock band Can: Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki."
(As much as I detest Wikipedia [a public written info source? really? you're kidding right?] I have to say that on this occassion they delivered a couple of tidbits that were otherwise unavailable. Of course this means they could be total bullshit like a lot of wikipedia, or they could be undiscovered gems of info. I'll let you decide how I categorized these nuggets. Now, back to our post.)

Mooney Suzuki have produced a fisftul of serious releases including a fistful of singles and EPs and four full-length releases that back in the day would have been called LPs or long players. They're earlier sound was rawer, more closely associated to a sixties power pop type of sound. Later releases were bother bluesiers and more elaborately produced. So comparisons to the British Invasion ala Kinks and Stones, and to early metal ala Sweet and Led Zeppelin are all appropriate and completely justified. Through it all, the band keeps a steady focus on sixties based R&B, and on a more modern sort of crunchy rock and roll blues not unlike Jet, though much harder. For me the earlier stuff is the best stuff, but the later stuff is addictive with it's aggrssive approach and unashamed grasping for something a little more mainstream. Too bad the mainstream never grasped back, had they done so we'd be enjoying a modern day Rolling Stones.

The track here, "Yeah You Can" is from their 2000 release People Get Ready. It's a great piece of garage rock with just enough injection of sixties psychadelia to give it the perfect garage rock edge.  Later tracks lost some of the raw energy, but kept a great focus on blues and pure rock-n-roll. 

Mooney Suzuke -- Yeah, You Can