Moonlight Vision

The Sextones

Sextone Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Though this is the first album for Reno, Nevada's The Sextones, they've already shared the stage with Macy Gray and Ziggy Marley, which is no easy feat for even a veteran outfit. With so much anticipation for this debut, the meticulous musicians spent several months analyzing the energetic guitar riffs, rumbling bass work, and sleek vocals of Mark Sexton, making absolute certain my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Moonlight Vision met the expectations of their growing fanbase.

While the lyrical themes revolve around fear, resentment, love, growing up, and dissatisfaction, musically it's a feel-good listen that's ear candy from the get go. “Push On Through” leads with a soulful groove, where punchy horns and Sexton's vocals are both smooth and melodic as he urges the listeners to embrace their talents. “Drunk Off Your Love” follows and is a calmer, more romantic offering with warm organs with Sexton's vocal range really being illuminated. “How Could I Have Known” then gets even more calm; falsettos make this a singing delight and a contemplative listen. “Analog Girl” then picks the pace up into a groovy little pop-funk song, and the halfway point delivers “Home Is You,” a slow burner with waltz-like qualities.

The second half of the album is chocked with plenty of sophisticated sounds, starting with the soft-rock of “Goodbye Yesterday.” But it quickly changes directions with the upbeat swing sounds of “Blame It On My Youth” that will easily propel anyone to get on the dance floor. “I Still Care” is pure R&B, and at just over a minute long seems like an interlude, but the band gets us back on the dance floor with “Can't Stop.” The album ends with the title track, which is the most rockin' song here, borrowing inspiration from Hendrix on the guitars. The conclusion “The End” extends that rock into a more psych-influenced exit.  

Whether you're a fan of this sound or not, it's difficult to find any faults here. The band recorded the album to 2” analog tape and avoided any computer help, making this an organic listen that's a great reminder of the impact talented musicians can make with intricate, well thought out songs.

Rating: A-

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© 2017 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sextone Records, and is used for informational purposes only.