REVIEW: John Moore And Missing Star’s — Moon & The Stars & The World (LP)
Some might call their sound bluesy rock or Americana, with hues of jam bands sewn into their fabric. I call the songs on John Moore And Missing Star’s nine-track Moon & The Stars & The World great, powerful rock and roll. Spellbinding with cued up guitar riffs, shuffling drum fills, delish bass grooves and a singer that fluctuates between reminding me of Elvis Costello and Peter Schilling (“Major Tom”), these songs are an abundance of top-tier songwriting and killer jams. Buffalo might have its Bills, but John Moore And Missing Star complete the Empire State.
Right out of the pocket, “Burn It All Down” sets the stage for a splendor of murky guitars and cool-toned bass. You used to care and then you faded out, sings lead singer John Moore (also on guitar). Rounding out the band are Tom Robinson (bass), Steve Ryder (guitar), Joe (Mojo) Mergler on keys and Shannon Street on percussion. This song especially gave me the Costello vibes and I felt like the guitars were calling out from a dark state-of-mind. This song felt to me about frustration and wanting to start anew. By the second track, “See Me Again” I already felt like I was getting a sense of the songwriting, of the emotional connection that the band aimed to convey. I must say, after listening to hundreds (if not thousands of albums) in the last year, that isn’t always the case. What I loved most about “See Me Again” is the way that the drumbeat reminded me of falling rain pitter-pattering against a window pain. The piano is always understated, but never underestimated in this track.
“Himerima (The Moon, Stars & The World)” is just over a five-and-a-half-minute odyssey. Soak this one up — it may start out like an atmospheric, hushed “Tubular Bells”, but morphs into an illustrious, slow jam. It’s haunting and sparks a huge imaginative, content feeling. I sensed a running theme in this album of renewal, contemplation and this song fit that bill.
Of the remaining six tracks, it’s hard to pick just one that standouts. They all tell a unique story and build upon each chapter like a new character. I suppose the common thread of self-discovery and heartache applies. I will say that in “Drag You Down” and “Don’t Feel A Thing”, Moore’s voice hit higher pitches. It wasn’t like he was a different singer entirely, but I had to triple-check I was listening to the same band! By the time “Over Now”, “Those Lies”, “Fading Away” and “Was It Worth It All” spin, it’s evident this band is destined for bigger audiences, music for the masses. To grip the listener with the pain of fuzzy guitars and dashing keys, alongside lyrics like my love is black and blue it’s true, they connect the listener to a universal sentiment. Hands down these are some of the best songs of 2021. John Moore And Missing Star deliver a bonafide all-around hit record. The world needs to hear Moon & The Stars & The World.