The video for Moon Fever’s new single “Cocaine” will gain a lot of attention. The clip, like much of the band’s music, is a creative and individualistic throwback to an earlier time in popular music. The Hollywood outfit rolls up outside a far-flung bar ready to play a show there, contend with an obnoxious club owner and unfriendly patrons, before ripping loose with the track and cementing their bonafides for the small audience. Moon Fever doesn’t look or act like a band toiling in indie obscurity. They perform like they were born to do this and radiate 200 proof hard rock confidence for listeners despite obviously miming to a backing track. There are some clichéd elements creeping into the video, but they don’t have a significant effect on the final product.
It’s a near perfect visual accompaniment to a rough and ready hard rock gem. There’s decades worth of songs out there chronicling life when you’re using one drug or another and cocaine has its share. To the band’s songwriting credit, however, Moon Fever places their own unique stamp on the cut without veering too far afield of what listeners will expect. Vocalist Cody Jasper sounds like a singer who’s seen his share of highs and lows, surviving it all and emerging stronger from the experience. There’s no compromise in his approach or the band’s. There are a handful of critical junctures in the song when Jasper steps his game up to another level and they are, without question, among the track’s highlights.
He has a strong set of lyrics to work with. They don’t redefine what a rock song can handle in terms of words, nothing so pretentious or ambitious, but nonetheless describe a world and lifestyle in well-selected images that make their point without belaboring it. His phrasing builds an audible swagger into those lyrics and Jasper comes across as a dyed in the wool renegade rather than some sort of affected poseur trying to impress listeners with his wicked ways.
Joe Perez and Mitch Micoley make a memorable guitar team. You can’t tell where one player ends and another begins, their sound is in lockstep sync with each other, and they summon an edgy six string juggernaut that gives the track much of its musical bite. “Cocaine” carries plenty of weight; no one will accuse it of having a light touch. It is never ponderous, however, and maintains a steady roll sure to hold listeners’ attention for the entire tune.
“Cocaine” isn’t politically correct or fashionable and Moon Fever do not give a damn. Rock fans need more bands like this, post haste. Not soundalikes or imitators, but musicians committed to playing a style of music because they love it, not because it guarantees the most attention. There’s no doubt of Moon Fever’s genuine love for hard rock – it comes through in every line, riff, drum beat, and chorus. There’s greater glories lying ahead for this band, there’s no question of that, but “Cocaine” will be hard to forget.
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