Betty Moon Explores Artistry With "Rollin Revolution"
Her new album (her fifth) Rollin Revolution, begun in Toronto and finished at Sage and Sound Studio in Hollywood, explores the contradictory realm of artistic life—the confidence, honest righteousness, the excess, the loss, the starting over.
Despite calling to mind the tailored screeches of Janis Joplin and Patti Smith, and incorporating Black Sabbath-like bass with Iommi-influenced heavy guitar-driven choruses, Moon’s record transcends the obviousness of such a lineage. The album’s a blend of crunching and liquescence, a neon look into the dive bar soul of a sensitive but strong-boot-heel female artist.
The lead track, “Captain Hi-Top,” frazzles the nerves with the right kind of soaring power chords and personal manifesto lyrics that, if it wanted to, could be the coolest song on any modern rock radio station in the nation.
To balance the heavy black-tongued songs like “Captain Hi-Top,” “Trouble Loves Me,” and “Rollin Revolution” she does a couple slower, jazzy laments. “Drink Your Fears Away” reminds of the opening to Rollins Band’s “Liar,” and “Elegy” carries a rainy sound that lays the foundation for Moon’s searching lyrics and vocals.
She ends the record with its thesis, a cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” done the way it deserves to be tried: made boozier, more amphetamine than peyote. The first nine songs are originals, all carrying variations in tone or content on the theme of: “When the truth is found to be lies / And all the joy within you dies / Don’t you want somebody to love / Don’t you need somebody to love / Wouldn’t you love somebody to love / You better find somebody to love.”
It does debase the music to suggest that Betty Moon’s Rollin Revolution merely collages hard rock, punk, jazz and the tradition of bold female frontwomen.
The album does something very difficult, which is reinventing sounds that are entirely familiar in an unfamiliar way.
She’ll make you search your mind for a precedent that doesn’t exist; her style fits a space that feels so natural it’s probably existed in the modern listener’s subconscious for a decade or two, and Moon is the one to make it manifest, as an artist does, bringing forth shapes and colors of the soul.
Moon’s songs have been getting significant airplay on the radio, including on Rodney Bingenheimer’s Rodney on the ROQ on KROQ, and she’s sold out several shows at L.A. clubs like the Viper Room.
She and her band will play another sold-out show at the Key Club in Hollywood on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 8 p.m.
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