Lost Gems: Moth – Revolution

Formed in 1989, Cincinatti’s Moth spent nearly a decade touring and releasing albums in a completely DIY fashion before getting signed to Virgin records and releasing their major label Provisions, Fiction and Gear in 2002. At first, Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and session-drummer extraordinaire Josh Freese played with the group.

It was around that time that the band first came to my attention, with their single “I See Sound” garnering radio plan and critical buzz for the alternative rock quartet. And it was deserved – the group had a unique sound, with elements of post-punk, psychedelia and punk infused into their radio-ready jams.

As was too often the case, the group’s fell victim to their label’s restructuring at the time. Being too new to have earned a place on Virgin’s future roster, the group was cut and their album lost major momentum. The next few years found the group going through line-up changes, and trying to return to a DIY aesthetic with their album Drop Deaf, which had trouble with distribution. For 2006’s Immune to Gravity, the band released it through former A&R exec Todd Sullivan’s Hey Domingo! imprint. More stripped back, and taking inspiration from group’s like Wire and Television, the album contained the fantastic single “Revolution”.

I dug the song a lot when it was released, but despite it being excellent, it didn’t garner the same kind of attention as “I See Sound”, and following that album Moth seemed to drop off the map (at least I didn’t hear anything new about them). Recently, the track came up on my iPod (yup, still got one), and it reinvigorated my desire to hear the song. But much to my disappointment, I discovered that Immune to Gravity was not available on any streaming services or on iTunes. Thankfully, the video was on YouTube (having been uploaded by Moth‘s Brad Stenz).

Crisp, angular guitars and a thumping drum beat give the track a sharp, danceable rhythm, while Stenz’s vocals are a captivating blend of jaunty Britpop warbling and 90’s indie speak-singing. These elements take you off guard when the pace kicks up for the spiky, barrel-busting chorus. Between “whoa-ooo-ooh” chants, Stenz declares “She don’t want your revolution if she can’t dance”, and in doing so turns the line into its own revolutionary statement.

Hear the song and watch the music video at the top of the page and discover this great track which deserved far more attention than it received.

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