Review: Moths in the Attic — Moths in the Attic
There are various artist names that have become synonymous with the Northwest Ohio music scene: Baccano, Teamonade, and Tree No Leaves to name a few standouts. Amongst these staple figures are Moths in the Attic. They are a unique act that have paved their own path over the past few years and went to great lengths to make sure their first full-length release was not just a flash in the regional music pan. The self-titled album is one of the most pristinely executed offerings to come out of the regional rock/folk music scenes to date.
The core of Moths in the Attic is comprised of Zack Fletcher on guitar and vocals, Mike Williams spinning sultry saxophone sounds, and Kevin Jorrey holding down percussion demands. At first this might seem like the line-up for a jazz trio, but you would be mistaken. The masterful inner workings of Fletcher’s mind have set forth a formula for neo folk musings that take a page from the likes of Steve Earle and Michael Gira. They have set the bar for any local folk act, hell even country act, moving forward.
Post recording the album, the band had it mastered at the Cass Corridor division of Third Man Records. The hair raising clarity that erupts forth from the speakers when one pushes play to begin Moths in the Attic is astounding. Everything fits like a complex jigsaw puzzle, and it is the type of album that you glean more from with every listen. The hauntingly introspective distance that is placed upon the saxophone work by Mike Williams is stellar, but admittedly took a few listens to truly appreciate its subtle intricacy on the album. Every listen revealed the horn’s place amongst the sonic landscape in greater detail.
There was was a moment that channeled a ‘90s element I was not expecting — anime
soundtracks. The wispy, yet soulfully inviting, tones of saxophone on ‘Awakening’ echo the
musical sentiments of moments in Cowboy Bebop, Big O, and Trigun where the instrument was not only used as a moment of sonic introspection and coloration, but also as a key plot device. Much like the music and cinematic material in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s western allegorical masterpiece El Topo, every moment has definable intention and direction. Not a single captured moment of time on Moths in the Attic feels out of place. The ephemeral organicism and honed precision are moments to behold and cherish, as if having an out of body experience and observing every movement.
Perhaps that is what Moths in the Attic is ultimately hoping to achieve. That one cannot achieve peace with oneself without confronting the ghost that dwells amongst our being. It is only when we decide to step away from ourselves and observe what truly is can we ‘Chase Away the Ghost’.
The vicious cycle of life flickers and dances on.
Words by Garrett A. Tanner
Garrett Tanner is a music educator, multi-instrumentalist, researcher and writer, audio
technician, and production manager. He currently is a proud music specialist for Toledo Public Schools, and a contributing writer for Astral Noize (UK). As a professional musician he is a member of the psychedelic soul outfit Tree No Leaves, and a founding member of the progressive doom/sludge metal quartet Shinegrinder.