Lord knows what they're putting in the water in New Hampshire these days, but it seems to be having a pretty remarkable impact on the foursome known as Mmoss, who trip out in a pretty impressive manner on their sophomore release, Only Children. The opening track, "Spoiled Sun," sounds like it could have been an outtake from the Rain Parade's Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, with its languid keyboards, buzzy guitars, and I'm-Over-There-Now vocals, but once the group wanders into the musical ether near the end (and Rachel Neveu starts running her flute through a whole bunch of distortion boxes), the sound gets less playful and more intense, and for all their melodic grace, Mmoss show they can approach this stuff with a focus and cohesion that's the hallmark of a band that's learned the finer points of exploring inner space. Mmoss can rock out convincingly, as demonstrated by the chugging power chords and pulsing bass on "War Sux" (an original, not the similarly titled Red Krayola number) and the crunchy but Beatlesque "Another Day," but the band seems most comfortable when they can follow their bliss on midtempo drifters that make room for Douglas Tuttle's angular guitar patterns (which can rise and fall from gentle to ferocious as the band shifts into jam mode), the dollops of sound from Neveu's keyboards (conjuring tones that haven't been common since 1969), and the implacable rhythms of bassist Justin Dearmitt and drummer Aaron Neveu, who color their surroundings with artful concision. Mmoss can deliver a tuneful, hook-laden melody and make it stick, but they're also that rare band that can rave up at length in a psychedelic manner and not lose the plot, and while most of the aural touchstones this band honors are decades old, the final product sounds timeless. Tune in, turn on, and play Only Children, and your ears will be expanded even if your mind stays right where it is.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming