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  Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun  
  Greyday Records  
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For the last couple of years, Atlanta band Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun is an act that's always stayed on the periphery of my interest. Since this four piece seems constantly on tour, they've been hard for me to pin down. Admittedly, their live shows are quite good, with a blend of fuzzy poppy dance music and energy that's hard to beat. But, as we've seen over the years here at EvilSponge, being a good live act doesn't always translate to being a good recording act (and vice versa). Anyway, that's a long way of saying that I know this band has released a few EPs in the past, but I've never wanted to potentially soil my enjoyment of the band by listening to a possibly sub-par recording.

Having said all that, after releasing their debut album in early 2011, Portland, Oregon label Greyday records signed Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun and have re-released the afore-mention debut, called Wildfire. With label backing and after seeing a particularly good live set at the 529 club towards the end of the year, I decided to take a plunge and give the recorded version of Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun a go.

After listening to Wildfire a few times, I quickly realized that I shouldn't have been so skeptical about this album. (In my defense, one of the things I read when this first came out compared them to Luscious Jackson, a band of whom I was never a fan.) Fundamentally, the band has done an excellent job of capturing the intensity they've shown on the stage. Likewise, the music, albeit very fuzzy at times, is crisp and clean, showing off not only the lead vocals of singer Lauren Gibson and the insistently essential drumming of Jeremy Cole but also the contributions of guitarist Cregg Gibson and bassist/synth-player/backing vocalist Micah Silverman. Song-wise, the speed and tone of the various songs differ throughout the records; however everything filters through that fuzzy pop dance sieve which characterizes everything I have heard by the band

My favorite songs on this record are truly the more head-boppingly dance tunes. As an example, the first song on the record (after the short, synthy Intro) is the loud and bouncy We Were Wild. On this tune, the guitars sound extra crunchy with an underlying synth melody. Over this, Gibson sings clearly, seeming to hold back a little until the boppy little chorus kicks in. If anything, this tune takes me back to The Rosebuds, circa Night of the Furies with the insistent beat and electronic happiness. In contrast, Single-Hearted begins with a skittering beat and understated instrumentation; however once Gibson's voice comes in, singing a slower melody that contrasts with the fast-pace synth and drumming, the song comes together and feels quick, despite the almost languid vocals. Yet another tune on the record, With My Good Eye manages to combine the feel of both songs I just mentioned. It has the crunchy fuzziness of We Were Wild, but also the light relative space heard on Single-Hearted. And again, the quick drumming of Cole makes this a more upbeat and concentrated tune than perhaps the main melody would normally allow.

Despite my fondness for the straight-forward dance songs on Wildfire, the more reserved tunes also work quite well. For example, Old Monster begins with a gently ominous synth line which is punctuated by occasional drumming. Although the song speeds up and intensifies after a minute and half, this first bit along with the remaining bits of measured quietness are pretty and contrast nicely with the quicker, louder, more effected middle sections. It gives the entire song a vaguely menacing tone, almost like The Medication's Gone by The Deathray Davies. Likewise, Life & Limb moves along at a pace driven by a glitchy drum track and very effected guitars over which Gibson's voice echoes loudly. It's not a slow tune by any means, but compared to the speed of some of the other tracks, it comes across as positively restrained. Finally, album closer Keep Quiet features a calm bass and synth line without any fuzz or effects; this allows Gibson's voice to drive the proceedings. The relative prettiness reminds me a little of a less ethereal sounding O + S, or a band of that nature.

Taken as a whole, Wildfire is a very listenable album, which may seem surprising considering that Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun have really focused on a being a live band. But the record does such a good job catching and holding on to their electro-fuzz dance sound that, while the natural place to hear these tunes may be a club, the lack of an audience doesn't diminish the energy contained within. I have to admit that I'm rather impressed at this output, which just goes to show that a band who have made their reputation touring can also pull it together in the recorded medium.

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Also on EvilSponge:
   Concert: Fri.27.Oct.07
   Concert: Fri.8.May.09
   EP: Heavyweight Champions
   Concert: Fri.25.Nov.11


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