Moviola and the Broken Horse No One Heard
Dead Knowledge requires less head scratching than the ramblin’ faux-psych of Howlin’ Rain or the woodland soft-rock of Midlake, that’s what made it 2007’s preeminent unheard roots record. It has since made more ears perk up (Mosurock’s writing about them now) and a serious survey of their career necessary. Broken Horses arrives at an opportune time for anyone looking to make the trip between 1994 and 2001 (means there’s another 6 years of material?). Longtime conspirator Spirit of Orr unlock a little chest of odds and ends the band has accumulated over the time – stepping stones between fuzzy collegiate earnest, sparsely spun folk, and the sublime domestic clarity of now. Call it maturity, the evolution of aging, but through the years it never sounded like were too concerned if they ever crossed a line that made them old and in the way. Maybe it’s from always teetering on the “ledge of the weekend,” always shifting slightly without straying, recording by any means necessary (lots are these songs are 7” and 7” “meant to be”) to perhaps get it all out even when it was unnecessary.
I’m guilty of not listening during the Rumors of the Faithful to Durable Dream chapter, it was the span before those album’s that Moviola seem their most prolific, here shown in many guises – the near kiwi floater-pop of the title track, the amphetamine jangle of “Air Out the Motorcade,” or the recently discovered “Signals Crossed,” a heady adventure through Grifter’s country. Housh and Shouse do share similar drunken laments and worn edges, but Moviola are far from a poor man’s Grifter’s, a poorer man’s Yo La Tengo maybe, but nothing as tragic and bluesy-bruised as Crappin’ You Negative. I guess it’s a regional thing, a mid-western bent, a university magnet. I’m suggesting the Dead Knowledge follow-up be recorded in Harrisburg, lovingly fucked with by Mr. Rep and Mr. House (who writes the liner notes here). A craggy, forcibly noisy, cleansing, could be penultimate -- fruitful.
Anyway, Magnetic Planet, Wabana, the High Street ssshuffle, Tobin Sprout, the secrets and stories, all play a factor – it’s all worth your attention, your time, just for the history lesson. It would be easy to go on and on regarding how there are genomes connecting the shit-folk of “Rockbottom Falls” to the Whitehurst (he prolly has no idea who Moviola is, unfortunately), this is a proto-boo boo you have to experience as if you were smoking in Stache’s. You been there (sic) ? By now, not many that you will talk to were actually there (is we old?), but Moviola wuz there, in the basement, smoking dirt weed, tapping into the spirit of the indie age, and had some damn good songs to write home about.
As far I as I know, the next time you can get a dose of Moviola is Saturday, April, 19th, during Record Store Day at Used Kid's.