And The Moneynotes, On The Town, On The Vine

And The Moneynotes, On The Town, On The Vine

Depending on who’s singing, And The Moneynotes sounds like two different bands. Their EP On The Town, On The Vine consists of four songs, half of which were written by each of their two singer-songwriters. Half of the album, therefore, sounds like an acoustic Gogol Bordello, while the other half sounds like Gram Parsons. The problem is, though, that their two sounds don’t completely work together.

The songs are good — both songwriters have catchy songs, and the band is tight and adds interesting accompaniments to the songs, despite the difference in their styles. “On The Town” and “On The Vine” have a big Gogol Bordello feel to them, with a pretty violin part and raucous harmonies on “On the Town” and a goofy, cat-on-piano-keys-style piano part in “On The Vine.” The other two songs, “Magnetism” and “Sourania,” sound more like a folky Gram Parsons, with an interesting, almost Romanian violin part on “Magnetism” and a beautifully simple acoustic-and-harmonies arrangement on “Sourania.”

Sadly, it doesn’t completely cohere as an album. The differences in their styles are too great for it to sound like a “real” album. Their voices sound very different — the Gogol Bordello-sounding guy sings with an accent and everything, whereas the other guy sings with a regular American accent. And the styles and feels of the songs are completely different, too, with the Gogol Bordello-esque songs having a humoresque swing feel to them and the others a typical folky acoustic groove to them. They have some great songs, so they definitely should be putting them out in some form. But the way they’re doing it now doesn’t quite work.

(Prairie Queen Records -- P.O. Box 253, Scranton, PA. 18510; http://www.prairiequeenrecords.com/; And The Moneynotes -- http://www.andthemoneynotes.com/)
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Review by . Review posted Saturday, October 17th, 2009. Filed under Reviews.

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