Early Moods brings LA doom to Atlanta
Scott Belzer | February 9th, 2023
Listening to Early Mood’s 2022 self-titled album feels like blasting a cassette deck in a 1970s Cadillac in the middle of the desert at midnight.
The Los Angeles-based quintet’s latest release hits that sweet spot shared between Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General, and Pentagram. Continuing the doom-inspired heavy metal sound (or is it the other way around?) established by their 2020 EP, Spellbound – but much heavier, more established, and refined. Vocalist and keyboardist Alvaro Alcaraz wouldn’t sound out of place in any one of those doom giant’s discographies, nor would the fuzzy assault (fuzzsault?) of guitarists Oscar Hernandez and Eddie Andrade. When combined with the driving force of drummer Chris Flores and bassist Elix Feliciano, you’ll want to rev a motorcycle engine, shotgun a beer, and bang your head until it’s necessary to schedule an MRI.
It’s hard to consider Early Moods a straight-up doom band because of the great time you have listening to them, but you’d also never reduce their melodic wailing, heavy-ass riffs, and sonic slowness to being strictly heavy metal. It’s just Early Moods, man, and it’s far heavier, groovier, and dare I say catchier (?) than most bands striving for this sound. Some standout songs that seem to truly epitomize Early Mood’s vibe includes the album’s opener “Return to Salem’s Gate” and later track “Damnation.”
For all those rockers looking for something a bit more straightforward, Radio Ruse’s playful, classic hard rock sound has you more than taken care of. Be sure to check out the band’s two songs, “Heartbreaker” and “Cold Dark Winter” on the streaming platform of your choice so as not to miss out on the Jagger-esque hip thrusts. Just be sure to stretch beforehand, as you won’t be able to stop until the Atlanta local wishes you a fond farewell and goodnight.
WarFather, similarly, offers a psychedelic trip into the early ‘70s—albeit with a pinch of Minutemen-inspired punk sensibility. While the opening track off the band’s EP, Ultrasound, “Control,” is sure to throw listeners back into a doomy, fog-filled basement, the second track, “WillU,” is pretty much a psych-rock ballad that wouldn’t be out of place in your favorite so-post-punk-it’s-almost-proto-punk lineup. The album’s closer, “Stop,” brings it all together for one head bangin’, fist pumpin’, and perhaps most importantly, ROCKIN’ good time.
— Scott Belzer