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Dark Snack

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Album Review

While Melissa Swingle was easily the best thing alt-country drifters Trailer Bride had going for them, one listen to the first album from her new band, the Moaners, suggests that she might have been better off taking a different tack from day one. The Moaners' 2005 debut, Dark Snack, is a stronger and more engaging disc than nearly anything Trailer Bride had to offer; Swingle and drummer Laura King's simple but expressive blues-influenced tunes give this duo a strong melodic backbone, and Swingle's primal guitar and King's rock-solid drumming kick the melodies forward with a welcome degree of muscle. If there's a shade more irony in Swingle's vocal delivery than she really needs, the rock action of the music more than makes up for it, and these stripped-down blues accents favor her more than Trailer Bride's faux-country lope. Rick Miller's production gives this two-piece an admirably full sound without cluttering the surroundings, and the band manages to sound alert and snappy while bowing to the classic behind-the-beat traditions of the blues. Dark Snack is a solid reintroduction to a gifted artist, not to mention a fine debut from a band with no small amount of potential.


Formed: Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Fusing the gut-level emotive sound of blues with the lean, wiry power of indie rock, the Moaners are a two-woman two-piece rock & roll combo hailing from Chapel Hill, NC, comprised of former Trailer Bride frontwoman Melissa Swingle on guitar and vocals and Laura King, formerly of another Chapel Hill band, Grand National, on drums and sometimes guitar. Swingle and King first met when Trailer Bride and Grand National played a show together. Swingle was impressed with King's abilities behind the drum...
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Dark Snack, The Moaners
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