Moraine: Groundswell


Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Having never heard of Moraine I went into their album Groundswell with absolutely no expectations. Even the cover art leaves very little room for the imagination. Just an aerial view of a lone island with some clouds. 
My first impression of the album is that it was more of a soundtrack then your conventional album. Each track seemed to have its own theme and since the entirety of the album is instrumental one could only allow themselves the opportunity to be transported by the delivery. If I had to compare the bands sound it would be a muted Dog Eat Dog or even a more rock ready Medeski, Martin and Wood.
The hardest part of the album for me to wrap my head around was the violin in the mix. Sure, I’ve heard bands that have one and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You get the same effect here. On one track it could fit perfectly into a Western style tune and then it could sound completely out of place in just your average rock jam. 
Bass was particularly nice with a range from funky to grunge. Horns really stood out as the universal instruments on the album. Drums were jazz, funk, and rock with a very loose feel on each take. 
Overall the album felt like it overstayed its welcome for me. I love instrumental stuff, but the repetitiveness of some tracks and the seemingly once over wow effect of others leave little replay value for me. As always, final judgment is yours. 
AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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