Reviews for South Side Of The Moon...
West Side Dave's Metal Site
How best to describe "South Side Of The Moon", the most recent album from Gideon Smith And The Dixie Damned? Maybe if Peter Steele had started out in juke joints or Glenn Danzig had been born on the bayou [apologies to John Fogerty], they might have come up with the sort of music found here. Calling it "New Southern Rock" doesn`t cut it, as those new Southern Rock acts sound like Modern Country, which itself is basically `Eighties Pop-Rock in shit kickers and cowboy hats. But why lable it al all? All that matters is whether the music is good, which it is indeed. Tracks like “Indian Larry”, “Black Cat Road”, the psychedelic heaviness of "Magic Queen" evoke images of humid Southern nights, cheap whiskey, stale cigarettes, dimly lit rooms. Sadly, when people hear the term "Indie Rock", hordes of whiney, baby-faced college students are what invariably comes to mind, not a TRUE independent artist like Gideon, who live through his music and has the scars to prove it. So do yourself [AND Gideon!] a favor; go to his page and buy his stuff. You`ll thank me later!
- West Side Dave
June 23rd, 2010www.angelfire.com/zine2/westsidedave/Reviews53.html
Leicester Bangs (UK)
If “Last Train to Scornsville” is something of a curate’s egg, then “South Side of the Moon” is a Magpie’s nest. One of the most eclectic and eccentric releases from the label this latest from former Antiseen roadie Gideon Smith and the Dixie Damned is also one of its most accomplished and enjoyable. It’s a well-known characteristic of most Small Stone bands that they wear their influences with pride, but few of them wear quite as many as this outfit from North Carolina. Try sticking a pin into any of the thirteen tracks assembled here and another reference will trickle out: “Indian Larry” is the Steppenwolf you always wished for; “Blacklight Wizard Foster” is a Sabbath / Doors collision; “Black Cat Road” walks the same ground as the Mississippi Allstars; “Feather’s Shadow” summons up a feral southern gothic Elvis; “Shimmering Rain” straddles acoustic Allmans and The Cult alike; while “Lay Me Down in Ecstasy” could be a variation on any number of 80’s/90’s heavy rockers in ballad mode. That the band has graced soundtracks from horror movies to the Sopranos is no surprise, given that the one thing that unites these diverse styles (as well as first rate playing and performance) is the ability to create an atmosphere of tension and impending menace, drawing the required level of danger from their chosen range of primal rock forms. It seems a bit of a cop out to quote from a band’s own My Space page, but for these I’ll make an exception, simply because I can’t sum them up better. Their influences, they say, are drawn from the following:November 24th, 2008www.leicesterbangs.co.uk
“Bayou Swampy & Delta Blues, Trippy Psychedelia, old school 50's-70's rock, 70's outlaw country, Traditional southern rock, Creepy Doom, gothic rock and UFO bred alien influenced Space Rock. Once described as "picture the Allman Brothers on acid, lost in the grand canyon". Described as 'cowboy death rock', 'psychedelic biker rock' and 'southern gothic rock'.”
What’s not to like?
- Neil B
Southern space rock? Hell yes, courtesy of Gideon Smith, whose swampy swagger goes galactic on SOUTH SIDE OF THE MOON, this ecelctic artist's latest 13 track endeavor. Meshing down south jukin' with the trippy acumen of Hawkwind sounds daunting, yet Smith and his backing band, The Dixie Damned (consisting of members of Novadriver and Big Chief) get it right, tossing in some '60s psychedelia on tracks like "Shimmering Rain" for added texture. While this one time roadie for Antiseen's voice makes for an acquired taste (think Jim Morrison duking it out with David Allan Coe), the doom-laden blues jamming heard on "Black Cat Road" and the star-soaked Skynyrd gone skyward shuffle of "Feather's Shadow" fit the bill for a fun and futuristic boogie rock rocket ride."
– Mike SOSOctober, 2008www.metalmaniacs.com
I had never heard of this guy but damn, I totally dig the sound, the vibe and voice. These guys are not all that prolific but they lay down some cool shit here. Some of it is hard edged MC5 meets Lynryrd Skynryd type stuff and other slower, more stoner groove stuff infused with some blues. What more can I say, check the mutha's out. It rocks! It is a great and different CD.September, 2008www.aural-innovations.com
- Scott Heller
The Ripple Effect
Coming from a different side of the riff-mad world of stoner rock, Gideon Smith takes charge of a disc like none other. Brandishing a gothic/rockabilly vocal attack not heard since the Cramps, and fusing that wild vibe to balls out stoner wail, Gideon knows how to make an impression. Not so much straight stoner rock but some wildly bizarre hybrid that I hereby dub, "massively blues-inflected, biker stoner-billy." We'll call it stonerbilly for short. Imagine if you will, a full-out head on collision between a gang of Harley bikers and a fleet of monster trucks on Halloween at midnight smack dab in the middle of a Mississippi bayou. What crawls out of the mud is Gideon Smith in all his flaming glory.
Recorded in Detroit and North Carolina, impossibly fuzzed songs like "Indian Larry," "Black Light Wizard Poster," and "Save a Dollar for the Dead," sound unlike anything else I've ever heard in the stoner world. "Black Cat Road," sounds like it should be the theme song to some horror remake of Deliverance, digging deep in a gothic southern vibe. "Devil's Ride," is as big and haunting as you'll find in the genre. This is full-on mad stoner riffing mixed with a hefty dose of good-old-fashioned psychdelia. Big riffs, big vocals, lots of inhalable plant material. What else do you need to have a good time?
- Racer XJuly 14th, 2008http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com
It's been four years ago since the last album 'Southern Gentlemen' and even when there was the 'Dealin' Decks' EP in between, it seems to me as if the wait was endless until the release of the second full-length from GIDEON SMITH & THE DIXIE DAMNED. But it was worth waiting for it, because 'South Side Of The Moon' is simply superb. It looks as if only a very few members are left from the old line-up of THE DIXIE DAMNED, but instead a lot of friends supported Gid like for example Phil Dürr (Big Chief, Giant Brain), Mark Miers (Novadriver) among others and even Small Stone Records chief Scott Hamilton unpacked his guitar to participate at the recording sessions in Detroit, while other songs have been recorded in North Carolina. 'South Side Of The Moon' has been a long time in the making, but the work was successful, because GIDEON SMITH & THE DIXIE DAMNED never sounded so fully developed and varied like here. Also the production, done by Eric Hoegemeyer and Al Sutton, is more differentiated than on any other release. What I also love is the psychedelic spirit, that runs like a red thread through the whole album.July 9th, 2008www.cosmiclava.com
Beautiful ballads like for example “Daughter of the Moon” or “Lay me down in Ecstasy” particularly sound as if they have been recorded after a mescaline-soaked night in the desert, while GIDEON SMITH’s dark and bluesy shaman-like vocals remind of Jim Morrison, Ian Astbury or Glenn Danzig. Needless to mention that he doesn't try to reproduce their low tone, because he develpoed his own unique style over the past years, so don't get it wrong here. “Save a Dollar for the Dead” is one of the few moments where I can hear some belligerent undertones in his voice comparable with a wolf that bares his teeth. “Feather’s Shadow” knows to surprise with the sound of an additional hammond organ, while “Black Cat Road” is branchless Delta Blues, but every single song here is peppered with a lot of good ideas. The foundation of GID's music remains Southern Blues, Country, 70's hard rock, outlaw poetry, 50's Rock 'n' Roll and a lot of authenticity that is hard to find in current times. On the whole 'South Side Of The Moon' is a damn intense and honest album, that offers much more than the stereotypical Lynyrd Skynyrd-styled Southern Rock, but that was always a trademark of GID's music. By the way, the idea for the album title as well as the artwork is just felicitous. Now you have only to buy this awesome album.
Rebel Meets Rebel wasn't good, okay? I'm saying that here because I never got around to saying it and more importantly, this is how it's done. Gideon Smith and The Dixie Damned took about seven years for the follow-up to their debut, but South Side of the Moon with its thirteen tracks make up for it in variety and sheer number. The songs on this album alternate between fuzzy heavy southern rockers and the psych tinged ballads.
Indian Larry and Save a Dollar for the Dead are text book fuzzy heavy southern rock goodness and Black Cat Road adds an Elvisian boogie twist over a half-beat. Gideon, an ex-Antiseen roadie, has the most glorious baritone of all the southern style singers and his great voice and delivery completely drive both the rockers and the ballads. Talk about ballads, the first half of the album has two of these gems in Blacklight Wizard Poster and Daughter of the Moon. Feather's Shadow is a half-ballad, half-rocker and is totally taken out of 70s rock 101. With some swinging drumming, organ and bluesy heavy fuzzy guitars, this shit is so fucking on.
My Darling Black Rose and Magic Queen showcase a lot more of the heavy psych leanings of these guys and it's all done flawlessly well, blending with all the purist southern rock bizniz. Time for another laid back ballad - Shimmering Man with its psychedelic backdrop, sweet acoustic guitars, very to-the-point-yet-interesting drumming, Gideon's amazing vocals and the drone ending make this my absolute favourite song on this album. And I want that fuzz pedal!
Lay Me Down in Ecstasy is another ballad, this time with reverberating clean guitars complimenting the acoustic guitars and again Gideon doing a Danzig. I adore how backing vocals and synths are used to add to the feel of this song. With no drums, this is the most chilled out the album ever gets. As a complete contrast, the next song Devil's Night is an ass kicking reminder to the days of Alice in Chains, but it's made to fit Gideon's own scheme of things. Way of the Outlaw centers around a great blues based heavy riff and the album closer The Wolf will Survive sounds like Gideon's take on a typical Five Horse Johnson song.
Quite a well-rounded album from Gideon Smith and The Dixie Damned. Next time, a lot earlier and a little shorter please. Recommended to the fans of Five Horse Johnson, Dixie Witch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Molly Hatchet, Alabama Thunderpussy and so on.
- Srikanth PanamanJune 29th, 2008www.kvltsite.com
Heavy Metal Time Machine
Former Antiseen roadie and turned vocalist/ guitarist Gideon Smith has enlisted a number of musicians to help him create a rather feisty assault on the senses with his new release. It's a twisted blend of fuzzy, hard hitting early 70's hard rock, twangy 70's Southern Rock and some random doses of punk energy. The diversity in styles and the overall busy sound makes you feel like a lot is being thrown at you all at once. They know how to milk it as they get a lot of mileage out of almost every little bit they squeeze out. At times they come across sounding like a cross between the Doors, Zeppelin, early ZZtop and the Allman Brothers only woven together and blasted at full volume. Once they get a song moving it just rolls and that's the major strength here. They can take their influences and blast with them and their timing is strong on the faster tracks. The downside is that the writing just isn't as competent on the slower tracks. The cracks in the armor begin to show when they slow down because they just are not creating enough to pull off these types of songs. The other problem is that the vocals are very limited in range. They work alright on the fast songs, but on the slower tracks it just drones on like someone doing a poor Jim Morrison imitation. Fortunately the ideas and the fuzzy, pumped up rock flows enough to keep this album afloat.June 12, 2008metalmark.blogspot.com
Small Stone Records firmly challenge the notion that people are sick of swung quarter notes and declarations of whiskey consumption with one of their stalwart acts, Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned. Smith and company have been kicking around for years in their home state of North Carolina, busting out heavy southern-flavored rock with Smith's unmistakable drawl leading the charge. His voice is deep and full of attitude, even when delivering goofy lyrics like in "Blacklight Wizard Poster," drawing comparisons to early Mannhai or even Danzig. It's a slightly unique vocal approach for a very conventional style of music.
Not to say that the music is bad. It's all very well done, with propulsive rock grooves and desert mystique that'll attract curious rock fans all over. There's a lot of twangy guitar action and old school sentimentality running through these numbers, which is hardly surprising given Smith's penchant for recording in vintage studios.
Gideon Smith is an old fashioned kind of guy, and it shows in the music. While songwriting has matured since the debut album, Southern Gentlemen, the essence of blues and early rock 'n roll still permeates this slab of stoner rocking fun.
This album pays homage to a lot of great traditions in rock music which Smith himself lives by. Anyone who's read his memoir, Way of the Outlaw Spirit, knows that he's got the rock journeyman thing going on both on and off record. He talks the talk and walks the walk, and this is just the sort of music you'd expect from a full-blooded rock 'n roll soul.
In A Word: Traditional - Grade: B
- Will Schwartz
June 10th, 2008www.theaquarian.com
On paper, the saga of Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned is exceedingly complicated, due to a large and very fluid lineup of supporting musicians, multiple sessions at two separate studios in Michigan and North Carolina, and lengthy spells between albums amid relentless touring east of the Mississippi. But, conversely, his musical story is actually quite simple once the needle hits the groove on 2008's South Side of the Moon", and a psychotic spin on heavy Southern rock, interspersed with introspective slow blues (and bearing minor psychedelic nuances) begins to issue forth -- much as it did on the Dixie Damned's debut, almost seven years earlier. Still, one gets the funny feeling that Mr. Smith almost had to be dragged into the studio by his many associates, among whom former Big Chief guitarist Phil Durr plays the leading role, having co-written eleven of these thirteen songs, as well as performed on all of them, naturally. Together with the aforementioned host of contributing musicians (even his record label boss joined in!), Durr orchestrates a series of tightly wound hard rockers such as "Save a Dollar for the Dead," "Devil's Night" and "Indian Larry," which features stellar wah-wah solos courtesy of Novarider acid-guitar demigod Billy Reedy. But the majority of the remaining material -- in particular, drunken ballad "Daughter of the Moon" and stumbling shuffles like "Blacklight Wizard Poster" and "Magic Queen" -- could be succinctly summarized as loose…exceedingly loose, bordering on sloppy, were it not evident that this vibe is very much intentional (we think). Ultimately, the music's off the cuff aesthetic is also suitably complementary to Gideon's own, love-it-or-hate-it vocal style, reminiscent of the ‘Satanic Elvis,' Glenn Danzig, after a battery of shock treatments. And why not? Said style works just swimmingly on "My Darling Black Rose," with its ominous melodies and lysergic groves; "Black Cat Radio," which offers a heavier interpretation of The Cramps' monster movie rockabilly; and "Shimmering Rain," which sounds like an inbred offspring of The Doors' "Riders on the Storm." All this, needless to say, can be a little confusing lest you buy into the decidedly twisted Gideon Smith program (which may or may not include coming to the party drunk…your be the judge), but why the hell not, if the beer on tap is cold and the and the barman keeps ‘em comin'? Giddy-up!
- Eduardo RivadaviaJune 10th, 2008www.allmusic.com
Daredevil Records (Germany)
Hailing from North Caroline ex-ANTISEEN roadie Gideon Smith decided to start his own Rock'N'Roll act. Basically they are into Rock with much layers, this takes us from a bit Doom, to Southern Rock, mild Psychedelica and of course pure Rock.
INDIAN LARRY starts up pretty forward the strange vocals of Gid leave a slight anoyning aftertaste, BLACKLIGHT WIZARD POSTER is a bit more laid back, and the vocals are even more „bombastic“. SAVE A DOLLAR FOR THE DEAD lets the bass splash like hell and straight Rock is delivered all the way, it gets balladesc in DAUGHTER OF THE MOON, Blues and Country are on the menu in BLACK CAT ROAD that also brings in some Boogie. With FEATHER'S SHADOW they managed to create a hit, the Hammond underlined song moves on in a slow pace, but again the singing is a bit artificial. The bluesy MY DARLING BLACK ROSE brings up vocals that sound a bit like DANZIG in bed with ELVIS, SHIMMERING RAIN is silent and acoustic and something of THE DOORS is all present, LAY ME DOWN IN ECSTASY delivers the quieter semi ballades stuff, DEVIL'S NIGHT is rockin' the slow way as well as WAY OF THE OUTLAW.
Phil Durr (BIG CHIEF, GIANT BRAIN), Eric Miller & Billy Reedy from NOVADRIVER did give Gideon a helping hand recording the album. SMALL STONE owner Scott Hamilton left some guitar traces on SOUTH SIDE OF THE MOON.
So thats the final verdict, very good Rock songs with a kind of get used to it vocal style.
- Thomas Schubert
May 28th, 2008www.daredevilrecords.de
We all dream of musical genrefucking. Whether we're seeking the ultimate combination of the three S's in stoner rock (that would be the Stooges, Sabbath and Skynyrd, and no, I don't know anyone who's gotten the balance right yet) or that elusive hybrid of hip-hop and Japanese folk music, every diehard has his or her little fantasy. Gideon Smith and his rotating cast of Dixie Damned fulfill some wishes with his third album South Side of the Moon. Though based in North Carolina, Smith likes to record in Detroit, and here he has a grand ol’ time knocking together the heads of Southern rock and Motor City power rock until there's blood up to his ankles. Guitars swirl, taunting and teasing with power chords and liquid leads, mostly rattling amp tubes but sometimes eschewing demon electricity; the rhythm section follows the feedback 'n' fuzz-soaked leads. Smith's got a big, burly bear of a voicebox, full of roughhewn heart. He often sounds like he's about to leap over the top, but always holds back, creating a smoldering vocal presence full of brooding manliness and nekkid power. He gives big rockers like "Black Cat Road," "Devil's Night" and "Blacklight Wizard Poster" the requisite conviction (and a good thing, too, as his lyrics don't bear much scrutiny), but he really shines on lysergic balladry like "Lay Me Down in Ecstasy," "Daughter of the Moon" and "Shimmering Rain." South Side of the Moon won't stand up to intellectual appreciation, but that's not what Gideon Smith is about anyway. It's all about feel, baby, and this feels goooood.
- Michael TolandMay 17th, 2008www.sonicruin.com
ROCK & RAP CONFIDENTIAL
"The Southern rock tradition may have been subsumed by country and trumped by metal but it refuses to die. At first listen this North Carolina group is reminiscent of Black Oak Arkansas, but then you notice that Smith, who claims Zora Neale Hurston as a primary influence, is a (little) better than singer Jim "Dandy" Mangrum and the band is a lot better. They roar through the likes of 'Save a Dollar for the Dead' and 'The Wolf Will Survive', only to melt seamlessly into a lovely ballad like 'Daughter of The Moon'."
- Lee BallingerMay, 2008www.heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.wordpress.com/
The Cutting Edge
Charlotte's outlaw gentleman (and ex-Antiseen roadie) Gideon Smith returns with his band the Dixie Damned, for their second opus in seven years. The man is indeed the real deal and with the sledgehammer rain dance of "Save A Dollar For The Dead" and the grinding biker beater "Way of the Outlaw," Gid continues to embrace his Jim Morrison/Elvis persona. His voice creeps out of the grave and breathes dusty life into all 13 tracks that mix Goth, Country, Doom, Blues, Psychedelic and the occasional Native American flare into a fine ground pile of southern blend. Straight-ahead rockers "Indian Larry," "Magic Queen" and "Blacklight Wizard Poster" still echo early Cult but with a razors edge that slices through and pretension and goes straight for legitimate originality. Structurally the songs never feel boxed in or trapped by genre tags, so the desert ballad "Daughter Of The Moon" sits easily next to the delta blues "Black Cat Road". Just follow the bass and drum.
That same self-assured rhythm section is the fuel behind "The Wolf Will Survive." While the guitar finds a dirty grease rocker grove that burst into a high-octane solo, all the while the backend just keeps coming. A secession of ballads fill up the middle of the disc in what would usually be an unwanted lull, yet for Gideon it proves to be a reflective aura of smoke-filled meditation. "Shimmering Rain" builds on a tasteful acoustic backdrop with reverberating electric feedback while "Lay Me Down In Ecstasy" follows with more of a country desert vibe like a deep track from the Doors back catalog. Personally this is one of those lyrically emotional tracks as the writer reflects on his life. The guitar tone gravitates toward psychobilly in the darker Cash-like "My Darling Black Rose." Then "Feather’s Shadow" takes it one step further bringing in a fat riff and haunting Hammond obviously validating the Cult reference. "Devil's Night" sits towards the end and is the most doom-filled attack Gideon tracks here. Dark and sludgy, it smells of swamp water and reefer bowl, but feels so right coming out of the speaker at full volume.
- Todd K SmithApril, 2008 Issue #65www.cuttingedgerocks.com
The Deal: With various recordings under his belt and having just finished up writing his first book, the reclusive Gid returns to his first love, which is recording – in this case, another full-lengther. Would be easy describing this as a heavy rock/metal effort but it's more. If Antiseen's music is Cancerpunk, then this close relation could be Roadkill Rock, with its emphasis on driving ("Indian Larry," "Black Cat Road"), Southern feistiness, righteousness and plain orneriness with a black-light, trippy overlay.
The Good: Love the high energy levels here. There's a high-octane cameo on, of all things, washboard, by Antiseen's Jeff Clayton, which makes "Black Cat Road" the superlative cut – the washboard creating a more Louisiana, swamp dog appeal. Other songs have a more old-fashioned, down-home, Led-Zep-meets-Lynyrd-Skynyrd vibe, with, Stevie-Ray-Vaughan-ish, moonshine slide guitar and industrial strength drumbeats.
The Bad: Gid attempts tranquil, shimmering arrangements on a few numbers, which don't play to his strengths. If you want the gargling with glass vocals, stick to the up-tempo majority, though some may like the more silent minority.
The Verdict: After a long layoff, health problems and personal problems resulting from the death of his drummer a number of years ago, Gid survives the pain, gathers his energy and delivers the goods. Way better than expected, it's the perfect antidote for your music snob friends. And just where does he get that sub-sonic, hellhound of a voice?
-Lew HermanApril 16th, 2008charlotte.creativeloafing.com
As the punny title would suggest, South Side of the Moon is much more tongue in cheek-y than previous Dixie Damned discs ("Blacklight wizard poster/ Freaking me out!"). It's like Angel II: Avenging Angel. You know, a wry satire on the genre it helped create. That's not to say that it won't roll over your skull like a tank, because it most certainly does; buzzing stoner-punk crushers like "Save a Dollar for the Dead" and "Devil's Night" offer prime gonzola, and nuzzle comfortably next to narcotic deathjams like the woozy "Magic Queen". I'm just suggesting ol' Gid is having fun with this one, flipping through old copies of Creepy and Outlaw Biker while he plays his BOC and MC5 8 tracks on an endless loop. It's an homage and a send-up and a big, greasy, gorgeous slop-bucket full of deep, rumbling Man-Rock.
I put it to you that you cannot understand Gideon Smith and the Dixie Damned without understanding Gideon Smith himself. I’ve never met him face to face, but he is by all accounts an amazing individual. If you want to check that out – and I suggest that you do – get on a search engine for books and snag a copy of his self-published volume, ‘Way of the Outlaw Spirit.’ Without denigrating the book, I’d say that it needed a grammatical editor, but throughout its pages it is still clear that Gid is a man of wisdom, a practitioner of the martial arts, a mystic of sorts, and a rocker who walks the walk, irregardless of material gain. If that’s not enough, surf the net until you come up with his legendary interview with Hellridemeister Chris Barnes from a few years ago, when the Dixie Damned’s first long player, ‘Southern Gentlemen,’ was released. That’ll clench it.
As a matter of fact, “southern gentleman” is a good phrase to describe him. After all, how many people that you’ve never met before actually e-mail you, just to see how you’re doing, not wanting anything? That’s Gid. He’s an outlaw who cleaves to his own rules, yet he is as far from a criminal as you can get, and that’s an important distinction. Like many southerners, he believes that rock came from the south, and that its spirit abides there. The listener will immediately recognize that as hard and metal as this release may be, there’s no doubt that it’s form the south – Charlotte, North Carolina to be exact. Yes, you’ve heard something like this before, but it’s none the worse for that. The album is rich in classic blues-soaked riffs, power chords, and slide guitar aplenty, not to mention the occasional laid-back ballad. Gideon’s distinctive Elvis-meets-Danzig vibrato soars above all the Sabbath-meets-Skynyrd tuneage, and it is good. Lovers of old Alabama Thunderpussy, Dixie Witch, Throttlerod, and Halfway to Gone take note.
This is prime hard rocking from south of the Mason/Dixon line. The Dixie Damned perform tightly yet organically, spot-on and creative. Special props to the mighty Phil Durr, ex-Big Chief, for remarkable performances on bass and guitar. So if you want to belly up to something familiar yet fresh, break out your chain wallet for some crazed dudes who somehow manage to be southern gentlemen, both on and off the record.
- Kevin McHugh March 24th, 2008www.hellridemusic.com
Those familiar with former Antiseen roadie Gideon Smith's work with the Dixie Damned will rejoice to know that his second full-length has finally been released. Given that it's been seven years since his debut, Southern Gentlemen, I'm guessing that's an unfortunately small crowd of people.
That's a shame, because when Gideon Smith and the Dixie Damned are on the ball, they're one of the better (genuine) southern rock bands out there. South Side of the Moon doesn't introduce anything new to the genre (except maybe a tribute to a "Blacklight Wizard Poster," a cautionary tale about drugs and bad interior decorating choices) but that's besides the point. To me, this is comfort music, like a well worn pair of jeans or a pair of boots that have finally been broken in. The thunderous rock of "Indian Larry" and "Save a Dollar for the Dead," the boogie shuffle of "Black Cat Road," and the doomy psychedlia of "Magic Queen," "Devil's Night," and "The Wolf Will Survive," with Smith's Elvis by way of Danzig by way of Pete Steele croon leading the charge throughout, hits all the right spots, even if said spots are well-worn in a couple of places.
What I could've done without are the troubadour-like ballads. I've got no problem with 'em in general, but South Side of the Moon has at least one too many. Subtract them from the equation and you still have at least ten solid tracks of quality southern rock. Fans of fellow Small Stone bands Dixie Witch, Five Horse Johnson, The Glasspack, and Halfway to Gone/ A Thousand Knives of Fire take notice.March 1st, 2008www.stonerrock.com