Thursday, September 09, 2021

What’s In A Name? ‘You Won’t Bring Me Down’ by The Rod Moore Band Review and Why Our Elders Just Need Their Name to Prove Their Worth

Long drives in the dark suit a certain type of music – and it was a type of music the eighties had by the bucket load. 

A dark, eerie synth-driven groove with atmospheric noodles and echo-y vocals. Think ‘New Moon On Monday’ by Duran Duran for a pop classic, or ‘The Hardest Part Is The Night’ by Bon Jovi for a harder, deep cut.

 Fortunately, The Rod Moore’s Band latest release, ‘You Won’t Bring Me Down’, gives us a contemporary choice for noir lit drives down the UK A-Roads.

Hailing from Vancouver, the man who lends his name to the outfit he fronts is a veteran musician and something of surf guitar aficionado, but one that always remained in the background. Nevertheless, since 2018 Rod Moore has stepped to the front of the stage as the singer/songwriter of his latest project. Following from his 2020 album ‘7635 South West Boulevard’, Moore’s released 3 more singles in 2021, most recently ‘You Won’t Bring Me Down’. 


It is by far and away the most downtrodden of his releases this year. Both ‘Lockdown’ and ‘Believe’ are more up-tempo pop songs, whereas this release feels like venting. It has a groove reminiscent of Modjo’s 2000 smash ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight)’. However, the tone of ‘You Won’t Bring Me Down’ is clearly more resentful and restless. 

The climax descends into a symphony of screams, fuzzy guitars and multiple layers of synths that sound like they’re chanting to escape their electronic lives in a revolution.


In the outro the cacophony of sound makes way for a simple baseline over which Moore sings “You think I got it wrong/I can hear it in your song/But you can’t hear the truth/No you won’t, no you won’t, no you won’t won’t won’t”. Worryingly, this could be used as an anti-vaxxers caption, but I’m hoping his confrontational manner throughout can be used for as a more progressive rallying cry. The finale builds in a manner reminiscent of Kaiser Chief’s ‘The Angry Mob’.


That final comparison is apt, and despite clearly doffing its cap to the eighties, ‘You Won’t Bring Me Down’ could easily have emerged in the last twenty years. In fact, he exhibits a sound that makes me wish BC Camplight had done a residency in an Ibiza club in the mid naughties. 


You Won’t Bring Me Down’ is a very well-crafted and infectious synthpop number from a man who clearly is a more than competent songwriter. He could easily build himself up into a position of an elder statesman, showing up at festival slots to prove that the art of song craft is not a lost art. It’s worked for the likes of Patti Smith, and it could work for him.


Tom Pritchard


 Image: You Won’t Bring Me Down Official Artwork

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