Thom and Greg Moore have done time in a number of worthwhile outfits (the former in Chicken on a Raft and Nedelle and Thom, the latter in Sandycoates and Owl & the Pussycat), but they clearly save their best efforts for their own project together, the appropriately bannered Moore Brothers. The Moores’ early work was more traditionally structured guitar/bass/keys/drum Pop/Rock, but around the time of 2004’s Now Is the Time for Love the sibs decided to strip things back to acoustic guitars and their otherworldly harmonic tenors, and that’s when things got really interesting.
The Moores’ last release, 2006’s excellent Murdered by the Moore Brothers, and their latest, the recently released Aptos, shimmer with a Folk/Pop vibe that stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Crosby, Stills & Nash and Simon & Garfunkel, and that’s pretty lofty company by any yardstick. At the same time, there are elements of the off-kilter Pop of John Wesley Harding, the sparse vulnerability of Nick Drake and the heart-sleeved passion of Iain Matthews. All of it is filtered through the Moores’ pristine ’60s AM radio Pop sensibility, which drifts out of the speakers like Joe Pernice collaborating with Scott Miller on Game Theory demos.
There are so many fascinating and discernible points of reference on the Moore Brothers’ albums. It’s tempting to use them as the basis for a drinking game — “First one to hear the Everly Brothers takes a shot” or “First one to identify which Revolver track this sounds like takes two.” But that might give the impression that the Moores are Pop parrots with no original ideas, and that would be a big mistake. At first blush, these sonic signposts seem obvious, but repeated listening reveals just how much vibrancy and creativity the Moores are bringing to this beautifully familiar soundtrack.
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