Dead Moon

As more and more labels dust off long-gone, commercially failed but artistically significant bands, it's refreshing to see Sub Pop fight the sad irony of post-mortem acclaim by anthologizing a band that's alive and kicking hard with years of neglected gems under its belt. Oregon's Dead Moon is a garage band with a metal soul. The collection's street-corner atmosphere falls a few lo-fi notches below that of the Mummies, with no audible manipulation, just rock-and-roll entrails dragged through scratch, fuzz and broken-razor riffs. Guitarist Fred Cole has culled decades of raw style into his variations: The Stooges, Ike Turner and even AC/DC muscle their way out of the mud. Both Cole and wife Toody take turns dumping tremble-wrecked vocals into the scraped-down mix like blues singers with beer-throwing punk-rock urgency. Echoes of the Past seems a mousy misnomer for a band that brings the sandpaper groping of the Sonics with an even more jagged and uneasy edge.

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