With a title like that, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Moonlight Rhythm Society had taken a musical left turn from their usual smooth and jazz-soul-infused grove and headed into new territory. Perhaps found their way to the more childlike stamping grounds of the alt-rock and metal fraternity. But as soon as the song tumbles into ear-shot, as soon as the guitars soul licks, the buoyant beats and the seductive stabs of brass, you find the usual sonic reassurance in their sassy sounds. All that is happening is that they had a bit of a nightmare.
The Demons, Trolls and Dragons have invaded their dreams or perhaps are used more metaphorically. Fear not. They haven’t taken to juggling Dungeons and Dragons style imagery and will not be appearing on stage anytime soon dressed like bit-part actors from Game of Thrones. I suspect.
No, this is the band doing what they do best, taking large helpings of soulful vibes, building elegant and understated grooves, the sort that seems to get into your DNA rather than bombard the body asking that you submit to their weighty ways. They send pulsing basslines to tie their eloquent melodies to the spacious yet effective drum patterns. All is well in the world.
As always, the music they create is the perfect balance between genres (remember when we used to be so obsessed with genres?) There is a clever, pop awareness to the melodies that lead the way here, innovative hooks which take you by the hand and guide you to the dance floor (if one isn’t available, use whatever works for you, patio, kitchen floor, driveway etc. etc.)
Enough groove and drive come from toying with a rock structure but cleverly holding back from its worst cliches and excesses. Soulfulness prevails both generically with the gorgeous harmonies, cascading piano motifs, restrained guitar licks and gentle brass applications. And when the guitar is allowed to kick off, it heads into blistering blues territories rather than more obvious sonic pastures. And then there are the vocals, the front-end lead mixing with and surrounded by waves and washes of choral support.
It is the sound of Moonlight Rhythm Society taking just one more step away from the mainstream and into more discerning pastures, a path they have always been on but walking with increasing confidence with every release.