Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
If the past was able to be burst so eloquently by Moss & Jones in their single Ella Brown, then the barriers that were breached may as well have Henry V standing with defiance and the look of the battle won etched upon his noble brow as he casts his eyes upon the fields and battlements of France as he orders the breach to be overrun; to let the past and present be merged with overwhelming ability and beauty by Moss & Jones in their new album Amateur Astronomy.
It is this merging of both the past and present, the reconciliation in which music of days long thought left behind and placed into the subconscious of the Medieval which captures the imagination and asks questions of the listener that may be uncomfortable, that may have them feeling awkward and wondering exactly if the question is a loaded gun, ready to smoke out the issues of the ignorant. Just what is it that makes some music stay the course and if their own personal genre of choice will be given such reverence in 300 years time.
That though belongs to a time not yet thought of, not even in the most daring of voices would one suggest for a single minute that the ample splendour offered by Moss & Jones which brings the past musical extravagance into sharper focus than at any time for many years is equitable to perhaps a rap artist proclaiming to be heir anointed as the world’s greatest rock star,. Some things are beyond parody and the music placed before the modern audience in Amateur Astronomy more deeply profound.
The vast array of musical instruments on the album would cause an orchestra to blush and look sheepishly down at their collection of violins and the odd cello dotted around the stage. Whether in the bodhran, ukulele, glockenspiel, mandolin or treble recorder, what comes across is music that is definable, interesting and full of earthy spirit and when coupled with the great lyrics that run through songs such as Shepherd’s Delight(It’s Not Time To Go To Bed), I See The Moon, the single Ella Brown, which in itself takes on further resonance when it is surrounded by other songs) or Stars And Moon And Me And You, Love, the music becomes determined, playful and tranquil.
For Moss & Jones to take the step where others may fear to tread is not just to be seen as brave, but also very cool. In Amateur Astronomy they have one eye on the music of the past but also one foot in amongst the stars.
Ian D. Hall