It seems like I just wrote about Alyssa Moore, and I’m sure her name will come up time and time again since she owns and operates Move The Air Audio. This time, however, she’s not only engineering the sound; she’s also creating it. Apart from her time with Memphis math rock outfit Strengths, Moore has also produced music under her own name. The Farmer’s Revenge is the third such solo studio album, and title inspires a resilience that is easily and energetically backed by the tracks it encapsulates.
Reaping That Which Was Sown
Being the follow up to The Girl Became A Farmer, it’s only natural that The Farmer’s Revenge stands as an actualization of self empowerment, grown from the seeds planted in its predecessor.
At the start, your ears are teased with the sweet singing of an almost metallic ring before the distorted bass of “Ghost Hunter” enters full force and the ringing turns sour. The driving low end pushes the song at a sinister pace along with anxiety-inducing tom rolls. Drawing power from pain, Moore’s vocals crescendo like a phoenix touting its wingspan before switching tempo for an upbeat monster crawl across the finish line.
Tempo changes and time signature shifts are part and parcel of Moore’s math rock background. In fact, “Here Comes Thunder” begins with a dreary bass walk-up that raises your tensions like the preamble to an argument. The song rises and falls like the motions of a heated confrontation, including a calm before the storm.
Whether it’s the grunge grumbles of the seemingly Hole-influenced “The Baby Got Wet” or the controlled dissonance of the prog rock “Love Me”, Moore has exerts her knowledge and mastery of the hard-hitting corners of rock music. However, that doesn’t mean it sounds disjointed. All the elements of the varied genres manage to blend into a sound that is still uniquely Alyssa Moore. Helming every instrument, she proves an impressive prowess of self-sufficiency, a concept she also explores finding lyrically throughout the album.
Funk makes its presence known, too, with the organ sounds that kick off “Lick” along with crunch seventies tones on the bass and guitar. It’s a song that makes you want to strut your f****ing stuff. The song is more than suggestive, but the bridge breaks into a euphoric and sensual 9/4 jam to symbolize the uh… the act of… you get it.
The trio of songs that round off the record are particularly emotional, clearing a high bar Moore sets for herself early on with her visceral lyrics. “Cat’s Cradle” drifts between sour and sweet, between screams and ethereal crooning, amid the feeling of being trapped. The penultimate “Death Distilled By Daylight” feels like patient existentialism on the front porch, building to a head just in time for the sweet acoustic fingerpicking of “The One Who Got Away” to take over in dreamy melancholy. That is, until the wall of sound that makes up the back half brings itself forward as an eminence front.
There is always a calm before the storm. Only now, Alyssa Moore is the storm, and you better find shelter because she’s not backing down for anyone.
The Farmer’s Revenge officially releases June 21st, and will be available for purchase on bandcamp along with the rest of the Alyssa Moore Discography.
Required Listeneing: “Lick”, “Ghost Hunter”, “Love Me”