Shane Mitbo and Cal Bailey, two teenagers from the Bay Area, combine their songwriting and drumming abilities in Moonlight, a homemade album and product of New Fossils. Previously a part of an emo/hardcore band called Turf Title, the duo New Fossils gives Mitbo and Bailey a chance to express themselves in a more pop musical style, albeit with the angst of hardcore seeping through.
The record begins with a melodious piano and voice duet in “Private Tantrum.” The lush arpeggios fade out as pulsing electric guitars and steady drumming take the stage. Bailey’s expertise and confidence on the drums is evident in the many fills and accents featured throughout the song. The piano returns, but in a more forceful manner as to match the intensity of the other instruments.
“Bubblegum” follows with a similar angsty, uptempo rock feel. Mitbo reaches down to the lower range of his voice, keeping the energy of the tune slightly subdued and anchored until the chorus, when he returns to his usual singing range and dynamically lifts the song’s energy. Vocal harmonies and piano riffs pepper the song, which is mostly run by guitar, bass and percussion.
The relentless, driving style of New Fossils continues with “Losing It” which incorporates bright piano, crashing cymbals and a steady pounding kick drum tying all of the sounds together neatly. The chorus of this song is arguably the catchiest part of the entire album, and the way in which the band so easily alternates between soft and loud within the song is a testament to their talent and performance abilities.
“Masquerade” is a classic mix of ballad and alternative rock. Crisp strumming accompanies melodic singing and strong drumming, and the chorus of sound continues unabated until the very last note. The album finally slows down with “Private Tantrum II,” the final track. Fiona Pestana lends her voice to the song, and guitars and drums provide resounding resolution to the chords and notes, topped off by a screaming last note by Mitbo. Overall, Moonlight is a spectacular work that showcases New Fossils and their musical prowess and potential.
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