Moment Theory, Moment Theory

Moment Theory, Moment Theory

Fresh off the heels of recently winning Best International Rock EP from Toronto Exclusive Magazine, New York-based rock group Moment Theory and their self-titled mini-collection of original songs was truly an award-winning listen in my book. Though currently recording their first full-length album, lead vocalist/guitarist Joe Salvatore, bassist Bobby Bello, and drummer Mike Bambace continue to exult in the rave reviews surrounding the initial EP and the growing nationwide exposure it’s garnering for the band.

This first-disc offering contains six definitive slices of progressive/alternative rock — the band’s mainstay genres of choice — and hints of substantial influences from many groups within the alternative category. The musical dimension ranges from hard-hitting rock styles to delicately-raked acoustic progressions, sometimes all within the same song. Foo Fighter’s “Everlong” and A Perfect Circle’s “3 Libras” are pretty good comparison pieces to a great deal of their material. Most of the vocals are smoothed-out legatos, but some of the rhythms and chord arrangements effectively call for switch-hitting between flowing and more punctuated movements.

The very first track unleashes “Calling Shotgun,” already a low-flying East Coast airplay magnet, with its hard-driving, guitar-laden beat, superb vocal presence, and catchy lyrics. The rest-and-fermata-filled “Era Of Let Downs” comes later, with an initial easy-going sound that climbs disjointedly, yet stalwartly, from an early non-reggae Police ambience to a repetitively-hammering chorus that finishes the song in a splash of intense lead guitar work. Though all six numbers have their individual merits, my personal favorites are “Regrets,” with its eerily-acoustic Days Of The New feel, and “Reaction Time,” a real standout song that reminds me of a relatively-dialed-back version of Institute.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Moment Theory’s artistry is the lyrical content, and the way they poetically use words to further one of their underlying chief objectives — the prospect of self-exploration. Indeed, the band name itself bespeaks the group’s self-admitted purpose of leading listeners into a fruitful, yet enjoyable, examination of the evolving personal theories we all subconsciously entertain through life…in any given moment, as it were. True to form, they don’t really produce concept songs or albums. Instead, Moment Theory functionally postures itself as somewhat of a concept band.

This idea plays out very well for them in this collection. The lyrics are not only hook-filled but are actually thought-provoking. I personally came away with a rather haunted, yet strangely satisfied, feeling of having had a very fulfilling introspective session. Of course, even though this is much more than merely a psyche-job set to music, the band members freely confess that their creations are intentionally designed to serve as an expose of sorts into the conflicts people often struggle with between mind and heart. In essence, this is the soul of Moment Theory: an invitation to attend a voluntary internal journey, set against a beautiful array of excellent music as an external media conduit. In my opinion, it’s a trip well worth the price of admission.

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, then Moment Theory has certainly put their best foot forward in this abbreviated Sleep Over Music label release. It’ll be interesting to see whether they can maintain this momentum with their next project of a first official album proper. This may indeed be their defining moment. Well, that’s my theory, anyway.

(Sleep Over Music; Moment Theory -- http://www.momenttheory.com/)
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Review by . Review posted Friday, November 23rd, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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