MP3 40 Watt Moon - August In Grace
challenging guitar-driven, literate power-pop...
10 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, Shake Progressive Rock
August In Decorate Songs
"Adding its vocalize to the local power pop scene (crash into june, David Brookings), 40 Watt Moon takes an edgier come on without sacrificing the sort of melodies that make the mind bask in wistful, three-minute memories (the band thanks Buffalo Tom next to Alex Chilton in the liner notes for a reason). And the chord-crunching ode to Broadway actress/Catwoman icon, "Julie Newmar," is a song as cool as its name suggests (certainly a better blast of pop-punk nostalgia than that annoying Bowling for Soup hit "1985")."
"On August in Decorate, their self-released debut, 40 Watt Moon combine crisp guitars, soulful vocals, catchy hooks, and sharp, wistful lyrics for a modern-rock sound that is mainstream but never panders and is always smart, a la such current bands as Fountains of Wayne and the Old 97's. (From the title track: "Another wish now/ As the night is falling/ The summer whispers? Can't you hear it calling?/ It's moving so fast/ Will it pass you by?/ In this roman candle sky.")
The sound is consistent but finds enough range to bounce from the Big Star-ish melodiousness of "Kisses and Pills" to the rave up of "Crush". The band's true crush is Batman nemesis "Julie Newmar", a worthy target whose charms they plumb in an album highlight."
"Hailing from Memphis, TN - 40 watt moon wears it's Big Star influence on their collective sleeves, although slightly filtered thru more recent power-pop acts such as Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, and Superdrag. Indie-pop with a nod towards the reckless spirit of bands like the Replacements.
August in Decorate is the band's first LP, half of which was recorded live at the famed Easley Studio (GBV, Wilco, White Stripes, etc) in Memphis. Lyrically rich, the songs rely on big guitars and even bigger hooks to frame the often bittersweet sentiments contained therein. Or, to quote from the title track, they appear to be "shooting for the moon, but can't quite make it...".
From the pure jangly pop of "Don't Ask", to the driving crunch of "Crush" and "Supernova", to the cartoonish punk-pop of the pop-culture tinged "Julie Newmar", the record never loses it's momentum until the plaintive, acoustic ballad that brings it to a close.
A promising debut, no doubt. Hopefully the band will press forward and actually land that thing on the object of their desire next time."