By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
BIG TROUBLE FEATURING CRESCENT MOON
Crescent Moon Is in Big Trouble
Big Trouble's latest EP is above all a mood piece, evoking themes of restlessness, neglect, and a quiet acceptance of life's tragedies. It's a six-song, 32-minute emotional journey. The band of TC favorites undergirds MC Crescent Moon's decaying impressionist images with evocative soundscapes, as the pairing deftly unifies structures of blues and folk with sweeping anti-rap narratives to create something entirely new: alt-country rap, anyone?
Song titles alone signify the mood. "Hunting Season" hits the ground running as Moon booms righteous indignation and the guitar is set free from its catchy constraints for at least a few bars. "Broken Dishes" rolls in as a six-and-a-half-minute slow burner that's as hauntingly gorgeous as any Drive By Truckers ballad, wedding plaintive guitar plucks and warm bass with instantly memorable character sketches. Here as throughout, under the muted yet crisp musical simplicity lurk haunted corners that creek and crawl.
"Where the Cutthroats Stay" stays simple as Crescent Moon gives more surreal snatches of city dregs and their twisted metaphors, while "Cemetery Stroll" is even heavier. Here Moon goes all spoken-word on us before the gutbucket crooning of the two closers. I still can't tell if his singing voice is Tom Waits bad (not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good) or André 3000 bad (just bad). By the end we're nearly alone with the emotional scars, trying to get home while mourning loves lost (and murdered, most likely). For a collaborative EP recorded in a day that's got inconsequential written all over it, it's a hell of an exhaustive—and ultimately, satisfying—listening experience. Let's hope this is just volume one in a continuing series—Prof Is in Big Trouble, anyone?