Thursday, January 8, 2009

Romancer - Romancer (2008)

I have to start this off by saying that you if you have lived in Greensboro for the past couple of years, love rock music, and haven’t seen Jonathan Moore peform in one of his two bands,Tiger Bear Wolf or Health (r.i.p.), then you have no idea the scope of amazing music this town has to offer.  

I first saw Jon with Tiger Bear Wolf in 2003 - the unlikelypairing of explosive punk ferocity with 70s prog-rock style monster riffs was enough for me to almost run down Lee St. to the nearest tattoo shop and get a TBW heart on my upper arm. Tiger Bear Wolf is still blowing minds in local venues, - not as often as some would like, but see them if you can-- they are not to be missed. Jon, who provides Tiger Bear Wolf with most of the singing, and half of the guitar work - later formed Health, --- a sort of introspective alt-country realization of the Velvet Underground. Group harmonies, epic guitar solos, powerful yet minimal percussion, and on top of it all, Jon’s soulful vocals. 

But enough about the past and onto the present.  

Romancer finds Jon at his most experimental - which isn’t to say this is a weird album—In fact, in his experimenting, he offers up his most abstract and also his most accessible at the same time.  The self-titled album opens and closes with the Fripp/Eno-esque “Wheels Within Wheels”, produced with the almost forgotten technique of recording on reel-to-reel tape then physically cutting it and splicing it together again to produce a geniune tape loop. Creating layers of guitars and keys that echo and delay in the depths of a pulsing ambient drone.  The last thing you’d expect to find inbetween these spacey bookends is the feel good hit of summer (“The World Is Exploding”) - but it’s there—it’s catchy—and it makes me loathe the winter. 

Now, I’m no bible scholar, but  “Moses” seems to be a narrative of Moses, complete with a 3/4 tribal beat and splashed with bursts of horns.  Jon comes off as a deranged preacher, hitting his climax of crazy yelling about blood and snakes. Combining intimate stripped down songs with full blown rockers works really well on this mini-album by multi-instrumentalist riffrocking songsinging Greensboroian.  

Download Romancer’s self-titled album here.  

Hey, it’s really good. 

visit Jon at

1 comment:

matthew said...

The filesharing site says it's gone!