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The Molochs – America’s Velvet Glory (Innovative Leisure 2017)

This review is about this year’s best LP so far. Or at least the coolest one: ”America’s Velvet Glory“ by The Molochs from Los Angeles. Well, obviously the band’s name and album title are pretty exciting already (they seem to be fans of Ginsberg’s ”Howl“). But also name dropping after listening to their record is: The Modern Lovers, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Violent Femmes, The Strokes and somehow also their labelmates Allah-Las, just to name a few.

Nevertheless, the Molochs aren’t mere imitators, they don’t bore us by just sounding like someone else, but sound fresh and vivid. The first song, ”Ten Thousand“, is full of drive, asking ”how could it be that such love could go to hell?“, but without withdrawing into self-pity, but rather making clear ”there is a way out, yes I know I can escape“, with a powerful organ reminding us of the Modern Lover’s debut. The Molochs don’t give up. The songs sometimes are about love and the pain it brings, but always looking forward, never looking back, affirming life. In ”No Control“ singer Lucas Fitzsimons first complains about not having aforesaid control, before he states, accompanied by jangling guitars, that it feels good not always being in control. Two songs, two hits, to start off the record. Next, ”Charlie’s Lips“ lyric wise kind of reminds us of ”David Watts“, an ode to Charlie and how great it would be to be him – ”there’s nobody else like Charlie“. But instead of sounding like The Kinks, it rather sounds like ”Arnold Layne“, that early Pink Floyd gem. ”The One I Love“ is a pop hit, with lyrics worshipping the person you love: “I’ve never met anyone like you / you glow in the light and the darkness, too / anyone would be lucky to / know what it’s like to be loved by you, AH!“. Right after, The Molochs switch to the dark side again in ”Little Stars“, accompanied by The Jesus and Mary Chain drums: ”Learn a lesson when the world beats you down / but don’t ever, ever follow“. The B-Side starts with a slight touch of blues on ”No More Cryin’“ and ”You and Me“ could be the highlight of an LP full of highlights. This Dylanesque song deals with love again, or rather not being able to trust in it (”But you always tell me / that you love only me / and it’s never enough / in my mind you’ve got wandering eyes“). The cover of the record and the inlay, which is a poster with lyrics on the back, show the band’s sense of style – ”dedicated to all who are velvet“. Everyone you likes the bands mentioned above should go out and buy this LP now!

Rating: 8/10

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