The Black Moods Into the Night Album cover

Album Review: The Black Moods – Into the Night

Every now and then an unknown rock band enters your music radar by happenchance.

Where have they been all this time? Or maybe it’s, where have I been all this time?

Hardly new to the rock scene, the Black Moods released their self-titled debut 10 years ago and in June dropped their fourth – Into the Night. A current classic rock band with a classic rock sound tweaked to sound authentic but not antiquated, the Black Moods successfully arrange their own classic rock melodies giving credence that the genre remains alive and well.

Expect to hear a number of bands in the Tempe, AZ trio of the Black Moods consisting of singer and guitarist Josh Kennedy, Jordan Huffman on bass and drummer Chico Diaz. Foo Fighters for sure, Screaming Trees, Black Crowes, even a touch of Fleetwood Mac and a vocal tone that sounds much like Thrice singer Dustin Kensrue.

Don’t misunderstand, they don’t fall in with the current crop of modern rock bands. Instead, the Black Moods combine the classic (probably a bit too much on the classic reference by now) straight-forward combination of guitar, bass, drums and a capable singer through-out Into the Night giving fans of rock music an opportune choice to branch out of their old favorites and discover a band that falls right in line with their sense of musical decorum.

As such, the opening track title alone “Youth Is Wasted On the Young” boasts the aura of an aging veteran rock band along with music that shows they still got it. “Hollywood” takes a slightly somber approach softening the guitar and pace, likewise on “She Gets Out” a fun tune with a twinge of country and album closer “The Cure” which comes in a little hard and certainly heavy in this determined piece.

“Saturday Night” encroaches on 90s grunge and competes for one of the best songs on Into the Night with the fast-paced “On & Onand the well-crafted “Seen Enough.” A bit of grit and grime on “Leadin’ Me On” and “Fire & Gasoline” adds dimension to the album but while I like the southern rock flyover for “Big Time” and “Junkie Excuses” I’m pretty sure it’s not me in they sound strikingly similar.

Sweeping bass lines, sometimes charging guitar without overbearing chords along with well-executed solos while other times softer melodic approaches curated by some pretty fresh hooks wholly define Into the Night. Just as you think Kennedy’s guitar governs this band, you realize Huffman’s bass plays a large role, then Diaz lays down some flawless fills. Think of the Black Moods like buying a dirt bike then customizing it with the aftermarket parts you relish.

Times change, but nothing is new under the sun, so as their contemporaries decades ago often needed a few albums before the masses finally jumped on board, the Black Moods might just need a little more time heading upstream before going mainstream. Regardless, don’t expect the Black Moods to fade off into the night because they prove classic rock no longer needs to identify as your dad’s aging rock bands from the 70s that keep local FM radio on air.

And if Gin Blossoms approve, so do I.

Grade: B+

The Black Moods Into the Night Songs:

  1. Youth Is Wasted On the Young
  2. Hollywood
  3. Saturday Night
  4. She Gets Out
  5. Big Time
  6. Leadin’ Me On
  7. On & On
  8. Junkie Excuses
  9. Two Kinds of People
  10. Fire & Gasoline
  11. Seen Enough
  12. The Cure

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