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Album Review

Conceived as an attempt to bridge the sometimes contradictory strengths of live and studio recording, Wormwood consists of rhythm tracks laid down by moe. at gigs played during the summer of 2002, with instrumental textures, solos, and vocals superimposed later on. All the work paid off, in the form of performances that have the kick of a concert groove with the tight focus and crisp production that comes from recording in a more controlled environment. The "you had to be there" quality that comes from unedited rambles on some jam band recordings is totally missing here, yet there's also little of the sardine-can constriction that can happen when musicians who like to stretch out are locked into a studio and told to be brilliant in three-minute increments. From the frenetic drum intro on "Not Coming Down" (which also features some of the only live crowd bleed-through on the album) through "Edison Laugh Record," a primitive and bizarre coda, Wormwood pours forth as a steady stream, with each cut flowing either directly or through a free-form segue into the next one; this offers a sense of unified performance that moe. fans will appreciate, while also emphasizing the variety of this selection. In the end, though it doesn't exactly replicate either their concert or studio personalities, Wormwood deserves notice for its ambitious goals and the flair with which they are achieved. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi


Formed: 1991

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Rising from the dingy college bars of upstate New York, moe. carved a niche for themselves with a distinct blend of Americana, melodic turns, clever songwriting, and jam band ethics. The bandmates were born and raised in the industrial town of Utica, but it took matriculation at the University of Buffalo for moe. to finally coalesce. Founded in 1990 by bassist/vocalist Rob Derhak, guitarist/vocalist Chuck Garvey, and original drummer Ray Schwartz, the band toured the university's party circuit under...
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