We here at Skagit Art Music love the Mosstones. We love their loud, funny, irreverent sound. We love the energy and grit of this local band. I suppose that might make a review of their self titled EP a bit prone to bias. That being said, I’ll try to be objective.
The Mosstones lineup is as follows, Tony Vecchione, vocals, guitar, lyrics, Rob Shapanus, drums, Andrew Velin, guitar, Doug Cassidy, bass, and backup singers The Mossettes; Lisa Yeager, Juels Avalon, and Sommer Velin-Carter. Here is the definitive origin story of the band according to Sommer.
Four fellas, three years ago, pieced together homemade songs that had been dormant for decades. Once the music starting rolling, more music came, crafted and honed by each musician. Half a year later they played a house party where a few women couldn’t help but sing along. And in harmony! The Mosstones with their backing Mossettes were born. With a priority on songwriting, the whole band contributes to each number
The EP opens with Driving Me Down. This first offering is fast, bouncy, and reminds me of early 80’s or 90’s guitar pop. Maybe something like Nick Lowe or Elvis Costello. Filling out the sound are the Mossettes adding nice background vocals.
Next up is a darkly comic song about the undead apocalypse, Zombie Girlfriend. The first time I heard the band perform this, I assumed it was a cover written by some witty professional songwriter. It has a ‘50’s back beat, nice simple melody, and lots of background ooohs by the Mossettes. The lyrics are hilarious.
Its tough to blow the head off your favorite girl, even though looking at her makes me want to hurl.
Song number three is Your Boyfriend. This number starts out with a grunge guitar intro and powers along with lots of repeated loud lyrics. The chorus includes the whole band screaming,
I think you’re crazy! You’re insane!
In the fourth position we find one of the band’s signature songs, Slip n’ Slide. Its more fast, bouncy guitar pop behind an innuendo filled tribute to the Whamo kid’s water slide toy. If you’ve been to a Mosstones show lately, you’ve probably witnessed the dance floor move commemorating this song.
Finishing out the EP is The Record Skips. This final offering has a slower, sitting around the campfire feel to it. To me the highlight of the song are the funny, earnestly sung lyrics.
In general, I am really impressed with the way this band has been able to lay down their kinetic, fun sound onto vinyl. So many high energy groups go into the studio and end up producing a snoozer of a record. That’s not the case here. What I really enjoyed about this EP is that it fleshes out Tony’s humorous, sarcastic lyric ability, and lets his expressive voice come through. Seems like at their live shows, he is so caught up in the frenetic sound that he doesn’t get a chance to focus on singing. The tight musical performances and smooth backing vocals from the lovely Mossettes really add the finishing touch to the work.
Entertainment Writer Mark Perschbacher…A man who will cross great barriers to find exceptional music, art, food, and beer. Mark is a long time Skagit County resident, contributor to, and supporter of local arts.