Be a Man, by The Moviegoers

“Foundations from the flood”

San Diego based The Moviegoers

Review by R.A. Moore

Cultivated by cause and effect, the rock/alternative/indie quartet known as The Moviegoers ride the flood of success as they finish their rounds among the San Diego venues.

The Moviegoers seem to have paid some dues. Judging by their short bio on The, fate and determination has kept them together and given them a concrete foundation to build a career on. After all, life-lessons are the key instrument in creative song writing.

Their artistic expedition has taken them from solid schooling in composing, multi-media and screenwriting in Manhattan at Columbia University and the turmoil from the after-effects of loss after hurricane Katrina that sent them to southern California, to life as an established band in the San Diego circuit.

Although the 12 tracks that I had the privilege to listen to are subtle, the quartet consisting of Richard Hunter-Rivera (vocals/guitar), Jessica Monday (vocals/keyboard), Jordan Heimer (vocals/bass) and Carlos Robles (drums) carries a larger vibe.

The quality of their compositions are polished and scholarly. It is quite obvious that a genuine balance of College training in the arts and tried and tested live performances has produced major contenders in the alternative rock arena.

Previous review has related them to groups like The Replacements, but the initial texture of the music I tasted was a kinship to the likes of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan with maybe an ounce of the lighter side of Pearl Jam and Nirvana tossed into the subdued salad. The rhythms and basic beats are familiar, the lyrics fresh. The tracks “Color School” and “Avalanche” have a modern, almost pop-music feel to them that grow on you with more listening; you know, one of those tunes that your subconscious whistles while standing in the checkout lane at your local grocery store, causing the cashier to look at you oddly.

Their deliberate decision to stay lo-fi and cater to a more easy-listening crowd is always the artists prerogative but personally, I would like to see some of their self-proclaimed experimental side take a turn toward some more powerful tracks. The previously released recording of “SS Vaseline” is a welcomed treat in their assortment of collaborations and proof of their ability to do so.

As a 30 year music fanatic I believe the subtleties of their works would only shine more with a few harder hitting, slap-in-the-face tracks hurled into the mix. It would create a more stable objet d’art and art always culminates with time and experience.

Exposing their skills in such venues as The Casbah, Los Angeles’ The Mint and The Whistle Stop in spring and early summer should help perfect their skills in live performance as they continue with show dates into the fall.

If they continue riding the wave of fate and keep their determination in the forefront, ample opportunities await The Moviegoers with their new release of Be a Man (Mangoose, 2009).

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