No Guts, No Glory
moe., approaching its 25th year together, is a reliable pillar in the jam band arena, and its recent album No Guts, No Glory, reflects the dependable nature of its music. Some of the songs are new, and others, which have appeared during live shows, get the studio treatment they deserve. Originally said to be acoustic, the album is placed on a rootsy foundation and bent in a progressive rock direction toward the moe. that has stood the test of time.
The original acoustic intentions of the album can be heard in “White Lightening Turpentine” and “This I Know.” “White Lightening Turpentine” holds acoustic backing through the entire track while featuring a huge guitar solo. Contrasting “White Lightening,” “This I Know” begins as what appears to be a slow, emotional track and evolves into a huge peak with the help of a distorted guitar.
“Same Old Story” and “Billy Goat” probably sound most familiar to seasoned moe.rons. “Same Old Story” is charging rock accented with spacey, mellow marimba. It also features chorus lyrics that mirror the album title. “Billy Goat,” a track that has been in moe.’s live repertoire since 2010 and is a vehicle for extended jamming, gets — surprisingly — only a slight condensed studio treatment, leaving plenty room for moe.’s staple loose twangy playing.
“Silver Sun” stands as a unique, mostly instrumental track that slows down the middle of the album and is homage to Pink Floyd. Around half way through the track, it sounds as if moe. slips into a “Time” breakdown. Perhaps a Pink Floyd cover looms in the future.
Drastic evolution has never proven necessary for moe., but perhaps it is dipping its toes into new waters on this album. Nevertheless, No Guts, No Glory is one of the best albums in the band’s recent catalogue and holds high re-listen value.
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