Trevor Montgomery is a brave man. Having spearheaded his own musical project, which later expanded into a full blown band, Young Moon, you could only imagine that grit it took to push creativity that far. Montgomery has gone from playing all the instrumental pieces for an album, to playing alongside a group. Equally transformative, Montgomery cites his own ups and downs (especially the ups) as the fodder for Young Moon’s latest album –Colt.
Colt mostly plays out with a variety of instrumental voices creating the essential indie experience. Guitars create a mainline melody while Montgomery lays out bittersweet vocal lines. Often other instrumental voices drop in to add a bit of cacophonous texture (although sometimes adding a slight twist). There’s a semi-uplifting aspect to many songs, a bit cheerful, but also a maintained bluesy vibe. “I’ve suffered!” Screams the music, “But it’s getting better everyday!”
Colt is an emotional album, in that it is an attempt to incorporate various transformative experiences into Montgomery and Young Moon’s music. That deep voice means so much more, as the music becomes so much more personalized. The instrumentation has to strike the mood just right –a real synergistic challenge for a band. And as far as all this emotion goes –Colt falls short.
No beating around the bush –Colt takes no risks, Young Moon plays a very safe album. Montgomery often sounds monotone and absolutely refuses to leave his vocal comfort zone. Really breaking from his range for even a minute may have been freeing. The lyrics are uninventive and the instrumentation is relatively safe. Colt is an ode to the rock wash-up –a little folky, a bit burned out, and too familiar.
Putting the criticisms aside, Young Moon’s Colt really isn’t bad –even fine for the indie-folk world, but by no means is it groundbreaking. The baritone vocals work well alongside the mix of guitar, synths, and percussive works. If you get away from the talk and separate the band from the personal –the music becomes tolerable. It’s not bad, it’s standard.
Is Colt worth settling for? –Young Moon offers a decent indie/folk rock listen. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but Colt does it just fine. So if you think you need a burned out Edward Sharpe in your life, or if you just need to expand that library, or if you’re a fan of Montgomery’s deep voice –go for it.