Monday, February 23, 1999
Houston, Texas

Volume 64, Issue 99

Album reviews:
Latch Key Kids

About the Cougar

Gimme some moe.

Rock band moe. wows Fitzgerald's

By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

Fitzgerald's usually packs up one of those cloned bands that sounds like all the other fizzled guitar-strung groups that have weird names and forgettable songs.

Thursday night may have been another example with moe. at first, but surprisingly, they didn't make that bad of an impression.

Its second heavily distributed album, Tin Cans & Car Tires, is a favorable choice, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Fitzgerald's is small -- the venue is a two-story house that was converted into a club to hear the blues in the late '70s. Thursday night, moe. played upstairs. At Fitz, fans were able to get intimate with moe.'s music, whether it be quiet rock or simple ear-piercing guitar riffs.

A "jam band," is what moe. would call themselves, and that's what people like about these guys. The band's reckless mix of rock, blues, country and jazz, combined with its melodic style, was worth the heat, the smoke and, well, just Fitz itself.

With the national tour promoting moe.'s latest album, not to mention the catchy album cover, this group of guys and their brilliant guitar work sincerely impressed the Generation-X kids. It was a semi-pop, jazzy ride of musical arrangements.

The New York-based foursome consists of guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey, bass guitarist Rob Derhak and drummer Vinnie Amico. The band has come a long way to make this album a nationally distributed opus that offers the listener a pinch of its talent.

With tracks such as the melancholic, blues-influenced "Letter Home" and instrumental orchestral getup in "Plane Crush," these guys storm up the area with an infectious rhythm of saucy guitar licks that are quite impressive.

The laid-back group has been together for eight years, and shortly after its formation the band released Fatboy, which is no longer sold in stores. Then came Headseed (sold only at concerts) followed closely by Loaf (another album no longer sold in stores) and No Doy, the album before Tin Cans & Car Tires.

Opening for moe. was Moses Guest, another seems-to-be-a-clone group, but it came out with a signature, stabbing the audience with a surprising upbringing of music and a somewhat-decent set.

With the pop sounds of "Hi & Lo" and catchy "Stranger Than Fine," moe. is a band to listen to, either by album or in concert.

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