Altars by Old MoonRelease date: July 9, 2021
Label: A La Carte Records
When somebody comes up with the ‘rural’ tag for a musician or a band, the first thing that probably comes to mind is some shimmering, subdued folk or country with touches of rock. Well, not in the case of Tom Weir and his Old Moon project. Sure, Weir recorded this in rural New Hampshire, but forget qualifications like subdued or even folk or country.
Yet, hold on to shimmering. Or some would prefer the term jangly. Because it is some brilliant, shimmering/jangly guitars that permeate Altars throughout. And of course, hold on to the rock tag, the one that has everything with the sound of Echo And The Bunnymen, The Only Ones, The Church, Psychedelic Furs, and other brilliant eighties guitar bands.
Weir keeps that ‘guitar tension’ holding throughout the eight tracks here, knowing exactly when to start and stop, when to add the noise and when to (slightly) tone it down, never at any moment overstaying his welcome. The echoing, almost background vocals give you the feeling that you are hearing voices in a tunnel at night, waiting for the exit to arrive.
Still, Weir doesn’t just replicate that Eighties guitar sound, but tries (and succeeds) to bring it up to current speed. His music has that urban, nocturnal feel when all the parties are over but the adrenaline rush still holds as the end of the night, or old moon, if you will, approaches. Works the charm every time you put this one on.