Young Moon - Colt - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Young Moon - Colt

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:5 Release Date:2016-06-09

I admit that writing this feels a bit like kicking a man while he’s down (or maybe I should say “downward dog”), but there’s such a deluge of misery on Young Moon’s latest album “Colt” that it borders on maudlin. In short, Trevor Montgomery, the voice and songwriter in the band, suffered heartbreak a few years ago and took quite a long time (two years) to struggle through it, eventually using yoga as a tool to regain his passion for creativity. Fair enough. We’ve all been there and suffered through the crushing feelings that may leave a person “broken,” (his word). However, composing a record that is essentially the same sad song over and over is asking a lot from your audience, even of the most morose members.

With a voice like a muted Tom Waits or a gruffer Bruce Springsteen, Montgomery pleads, mumbles, and drones his heart-rending lyrics atop some very lovely backing music; smooth acoustic guitar melodies, glossy string accents, ringing, clean production, and gentle drum rhythms. Had Young Moon spread the melancholy a bit more conservatively and mixed in a few more positive tracks, the album might have ended up as something other than accompaniment for a night of navel gazing, crying in the darkness, and fighting the urge to drunk-dial your ex.

The title track and current video single is an accurate summation of the bulk of all the tracks; plenty of usage of the word of “love,” delicate, minor key, acoustic guitar melodies, and somber keyboards that meander in and out of the mix. Unfortunately, the band relies too much on grief, causing sympathy to collapse into contempt, and tender poetry to morph into lyrical cliché. It’s as if Montgomery was so single-minded in his approach that after a half dozen songs he simply ran out of ways to express his depression. In short; You left my heart shattered, you were the greatest thing to happen to me, you rescued me, I’ll always be there when you want me, this was a once in a lifetime love, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Seriously. Ad nauseum.

There’s something about hearing this straight through that makes me want to slap the shit out of this whiny troubadour. That’s a shame, too, because I’ve heard enough to know that he’s got talent. However, he’s not demonstrating enough of it on this mawkish offering. “Let’s Take a Walk” actually has some oomph and “Perfect” may just be the most aptly named song on the album. A refreshing vocal performance that I might dare label angry if not simply defiant, coupled with a churning beat that leads up to a majestic coda. Hooray, he has balls. Given that this song is the ninth of eleven, it takes too damn long to arrive.

Certainly some thematic variety would’ve helped a lot. Hell, even noted balladeer Gordon Lightfoot wrote a dirge about a bloody shipwreck, and not as a metaphor, either. Perhaps dropping in some other topics beyond love sickness (his beloved yoga, the environment, politics, drugs, eating a sandwich) would have made the ballads stand out that much more effectively. As it stands, this is akin to self-pity porn and everyone knows that stuff is only good for a few minutes. I’d like to believe that Young Moon may be more than what’s offered here, but I’ll have to wait until the next album, hopefully one wherein Montgomery has sworn off love, or at least writing about it, because there’s enough content on “Colt” to last a lifetime.

 

 

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