‘Not Dead Yet’: Moose Wrench’s Rollicking Ride Through Dad-Bod Alt-Core
Moose Wrench, a self-proclaimed trio of lost souls, originating from Nevada, have hit the UK’s northern musical scene with their latest EP, ‘Not Dead Yet’, recorded at Greenmount Studios in Leeds, and released on 18th December. This EP is, in a word, fun. It refuses to conform to one musical genre and, in doing so, creates a unique and memorable listening experience.
Complementing their sonic uniqueness, the band’s style resonates with the eccentricity of Hunter S. Thompson. Decked out in brightly coloured Hawaiian shirts, long shorts, knee-length socks, bucket hats, and shades, Moose Wrench presents a visual spectacle that’s as bold and unconventional as their music. Comprising Dr. Moose on keytar, vocals, and programming, Mr. Moose on bass, and Moose Jr. on drums, Moose Wrench steers clear of pretentiousness, focusing instead on powerful lyrics and humour.
Influenced by the likes of Mr. Bungle, Primus, and Faith No More, their latest EP, ironically, begins with “Directionless Twat” which opens with a Dylan Thomas poem and gives listeners, both old and new, a completely muted idea of what is ahead. The song then breaks into punchy classic rock and immediately defies the gentleness of the poem. The listener is left directionless and will remain that way for the rest of the album as the band continues to explore a multitude of genres. The brains behind Moose Wrench are creative and share an innovative approach to music.
Not Dead Yet progresses onto “Ginnel Dick” with heavy guitars and a spirited tempo. The lyrics are powerful and, sometimes, overshadowed by the intense heavy rock. There are strong nods towards punk throughout this album and this is felt heavily in Ginnel Dick. It is followed by “Don’t Let Me Down” which is full of electronic sounds and repetitive yet effective lyrics. It feels reminiscent of early Gorillaz as there is an upbeat, joyous melody throughout the entirety of the song. Their title track, “Not Dead Yet”, embraces themes of ageing vitality, offering a unique perspective on life’s relentless march, aptly summed up in their own words: “age disgracefully and loudly, and dress accordingly.”
The closing two songs are punky, angsty, and comic. “Dingleberry Fin” is very tight musically with a consistent and effective drumbeat. The lyrics are a little vulgar, but this is disguised by the catchy chorus. Moose Wrench finishes with an “Ode to the Ting Tings” – they cover “Not My Name” and give it an entirely fresh feel. It feels like it could be mocking the original song yet it feels like the perfect finish; it is fun and very on-brand for Moose Wrench.
Whilst, as musicians, Moose Wrench are very talented – the humour in the lyrics is not to be ignored. In fact, it is the humorous lyrics that create the joy in the EP. The band describe the EP as “a mix of motivational and satirical tracks covering life’s irritations”. And the real magic of this album is that it is fun. For 29 minutes and 39 seconds, to be precise, listeners will forget about life’s irritations and give into the groovy, angsty, and slightly silly pleasure of Moose Wrench. Looking ahead, the band will be opening for ‘Melt Banana‘ when they return to the UK in 2024, and hint at a transition towards disco, which will be a dramatic shift for their “Dad-Bod Alt-Core” sound.