The jam band moe. are on a roll. Their last three CDs—Wormwood, The Conch and now this one—all corral some of the group’s legendary live power, while also showing real record-making craft. There are hooks galore, well-rendered harmonies, typically great guitar interplay…and tons of energy. This time, the band wrote most of the songs in the studio, so the tunes haven’t gone through their usual live evolution. The result is more-concise (10 songs in 40 minutes!), but they’re not stiff; they feel fully realized. There’s also lots of variety: riff-heavy rock, the sumptuous ballad “September,” the anthemic “Raise a Glass,” and my favorite this time out: an instrumental called “Zed Naught Z” that sounds like Zappa-meets-Quicksilver but is unmistakably moe.
Must Play: “Sticks and Stones,” “Zed Naught Z”
Produced by moe. and John Siket. Engineer/mixer: John Siket. Recorded at The Cathedral (North Egremont, MA). Additional recording at The Magic Shop (NYC). Mixed at Allaire Studios (Shokan, NY). Mastering: Bob Ludwig/Gateway.