"Comfort Me With Absinthe"
EP. Self-released. 2013.
Comfort Me in Absinthe EP is a short, sweet, and most importantly, dynamic release from the Long Beach alternative rock band, Mr. Moonshine. While it clocks at roughly ten minutes, it packs a lot of punch, and is a well-polished effort. This EP is a solid introduction to their sound; eclectic, moving, and haunting. The band fires on all cylinders on this release: strong lyrics, powerful vocals, and well-crafted instrumentation. It lives up to the band's motif of fine liquor; a quick shot, and you will be feeling the effects.
The first track on the EP is the title track, "Comfort Me With Absinthe." This is a dark, "tango ballad"-esque kind of song. The lyrics seem to tell the story of a person sick of the cruel games of love, and as such, is drowning in booze. Beautiful backing vocals serenely appear during the chorus, creating a "siren song" effect. Of the three tracks, this is the one that should feel like familiar territory as it does sound like a throwback to classic, ballroom staples. However, Mr. Moonshine's spin on the genre is distinct with its whispering and washing production complemented with lamentable lyrics; it is both an homage and its own thing.
Keeping up with the eclectic sound, "Scary People" is an entirely different beast from the previous track. Whereas I would describe the first song as more of an elegant, "dream world"-y ballad, this track is roaring and intense. The verse section builds-up the song with sparse guitar, and leads to a loud and punching chorus section. The instrumentation is allowed to breathe. In particular, I feel the bass really stands out, as it drives and dances around from start to finish. The ending is powerful and resounding as a haunting choir sings the lyrics "Who, who is here in the room? / Could it be you?" This is all set to heart-booming drum fills that perfectly punctuate the song.
The last track on the EP is "Friendly Fire," which I feel is the middle ground between the previous two tracks. It has the beauty and the intensity. It definitely has more of an upbeat rock feel to it, which creates a gripping effect when juxtaposed with the lyrics dealing with images of a strained relationship. While I can't say I can pinpoint exactly what the song is about, I will say that it still very moving due to the performance. The desperation and power in lead singer Anthony Pendroza's voice as he bellows the words "I woke up, I need your love" is strong and chilling.
Overall, this is worth checking out, and I look forward to what these folks will be doing next.
"Comfort Me With Absinthe" is available through Mr. Moonshine's bandcamp:
You can also follow Mr. Moonshine on these various other outlets: