AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Two From Moonjune (Reuter Motzer Grohowski and Mahogany Frog)

Moonjune Records has put out dozens of releases since 2001. The label typically focuses on progressive rock and fusion-inflected music. Here are two standout albums from 2022.

Reuter Motzer Grohowski – Bleed (2022)

Anything involving drummer Kenny Grohowski is worth a listen. This trio release is no exception, with Tim Motzer on guitars, Markus Reuter on touch guitars, and all three providing keyboard overdubs. Here, Grohowski is able to supply his signature busy and complex drumming to fusion instrumentals with his bandmates. Motzer or Reuter produces heavily distorted lines often while the other generates acoustic harmonies and atmospherics. The themes are clever and compelling, catchy and assertive, varying from all-out jams to quieter interludes. While not a ton of new ground is broken on Bleed, the execution is exquisite and makes for a pleasant way to spend 70 minutes.

Mahogany Frog – Faust (2022)

I am admittedly unfamiliar with this Canadian instrumental four-piece, though they have been around for over 20 years with at least 8 albums released. Faust is a soundtrack to the classic silent film of the same title. As such, it is a brooding mix that is often slow-paced and atmospheric, with gradually developing themes, electronics, and drones accompanying the guitar / guitar / bass/ drums lineup (all four members contributed keyboards as well). And yet, this album eschews much of what might typically be expected from its main instrumentation. Put another way, this is vocal-less prog rock without any of the overblown sophomoric moves that can accompany that style. While there are nods to psychedelia and fusion as well, the band never stays too long in the same place. This is a very long album, reaching upwards of 80 minutes, but it is also a diverse and darkly enjoyable listen.

One reply on “AMN Reviews: Two From Moonjune (Reuter Motzer Grohowski and Mahogany Frog)”

Comments are closed.