Moosedriver is a no-frills style rock band from the Netherlands comprised of Martijn Swanenvleugel (drums), Hans Maessen (bass) and Chris Gijselaers (vocals/guitars). There are a countless number of bands that came before them that sound similar and there will be plenty of bands that come after them that will sound similar. Raw, unkempt and slightly if not completely drunk rockers is the first visual that might creep into your mind when you listen to their self-titled EP.
Perhaps the music is a facade to their actual appearance but the distorted guitars, imperfect timing and loose vocal performance bring to mind bands as disparate as The Sex Pistols, Motörhead and Nirvana all of whom encompass the ethos of rock. All things considered Moosedriver a solid rock EP with a number of inspired songs. Some of it came too close to sounding like a replica of a replica, of a replica but isn’t that the case of 98% of music these days.
There are a couple of highlights on the EP that stuck out for me. “Sickness” was a pretty gnarly song overall and had an ‘80s metal vibe. Watch out for some of the subtle yet effective high-hat work on the verse. The song right after entitled “Guile” was a solid number as well. I was reminded of Queens Of The Stone Age not only by some of the instrumental parts but Gijselaers sounds like Josh Homme for brief moments.
“Cynical” is a punk rock inspired tune that has lyrics that mirror the overall vibe. He sings, “I don't care what you say, I don’t care what the news reads everyday.” The best part of the song was the unexpected parts such as the prog rock style breakdown they pull off before transitioning back into the power-chord filled verse, which sounds like it could have come from Ugly Kid Joe. The highlight on the album for me was “Hela.” They pull off some inventive technically proficient time changes and I thought it was the most memorable song of the batch.
Moosedriver knows what they are and knows what they want to play. At the end of the day I have to respect that. The EP didn’t blow my mind or make me rethink what was possible in music but it provided me with a couple of rock songs that were easy to enjoy.
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