For the past twenty years, indie rock hasn’t really changed much. Keep in mind that what may be called indie rock versus what traditional indie rock is, has changed but that jangly rock sound on an independently owned record label really hasn’t. While we typically celebrate great indie rock, occasionally a band comes along who has their own take on that sound and makes it their own. We’ve been aware of Houston indie rock trio Cool Moon since they got their start, and on their new album The Devil Doesn’t Always Need An Advocate they prove that some bands can place their own stamp on a genre that rarely changes.
If you’ve heard the band’s debut album, then the opener “Overflow” won’t feel like a far stretch. Keep in mind that’d not a bad thing, as it’s a great opening song to essentially remind fans who you were and the sound that you brought from before this new release. But with that said, the second song “Red Pills” begins to expanse into new techniques and overall structures in how the band presents a song. Embodying touches of nineties pacing, the upbeat beginning gets tossed for a slower and more melodic verse before the band returns to that speedy start. It’s this fast, slow, fast again approach that really opens the album up.
In fact, change is what this three piece does best. While “Flawless” reminds us of the cheerful rock that lived within the eighties, so much of the album is definitely indie rock but really it’s being done like no one else. “Tragic Tale of Growing Up” has arrangements that steer from what you may be used to, “Dream” hits hard and heavy without beating you over the head with an idea and “List” has a build that’s extraordinarily skilled in how it plays out. But even amidst these gems including the catchy notes of “Sleep,” the largest standout here is the song “Crave.” For starters, the chords utilized at the opening of the song sound like they were invented by the band themselves. The way they seem to step up a ladder slowly as they traverse notes is so wonderfully different, that it’s hard to listen to the rest of the album without starting with this song first. Moments of soft bells and vocals alone make the band’s stamp on the genre their own, as they prove that sometimes a band can take an untouched sound and mix it up just enough to make it that much more interesting.
The Devil Doesn’t Always Need An Advocate is available to stream on all streaming sites, it can be purchased in all digital outlets or directly from Exotic Fever Records. The first Cool Moon tour has already occurred though the band will be performing in Houston, TX at Rudyard’s on July 25 next ahead of any further tour announcements.
Image Credits: Photo by Jay Littleton.