February 01, 2005

Moth Wranglers "Never Better"

Misery loves company, and LD Beghtol and company certainly love misery! Lead by the unrepentant LD Beghtol and Chris Xefos, the dastardly duo make music that's certainly heartbreaking, undeniably cruel and never, ever contrite--and they wouldn't want it any other way. Despite their glum demeanor, they're actually both highly creative and super-talented fellows, and the Never Better mini-album is a wonderful exhibit of their collective talents.
We should consider ourselves lucky to have this little morsel, though; in this day and age, Beghtol's classically-trained voice is a rare commodity, and tempered with the genius of Chris Xefos, the duo--along with a cast of dastardly accessories, including Future Bible Heroes' Christopher Ewen and Three Terrors' Dudley Klute--tread the seas of heartbreak and disappointment in such a manner that's both rewarding and depressing.

You like songs about bitterness towards someone you tried to love but didn't love you back? Skip over to track two, "Love And Jump Back" Want to hear a love song about a failed actor? Then hit up track three, "Overnight Sensation," which is made all the more powerful by Dudley Klute's emotionally detatched, unconcerned vocals. Want to hear perhaps the most unique and most disturbing Pixies cover ever? Then you'll want to check out their remixed and remodeled version of "No. 13 Baby," which starts off slow, gets even slower, but is accentuated by an alarming number of additional vocals. (Makes Black Francis' psychotic yell seem like nothing, this!)

There are three songs, though, that make Never Better worthy of purchase. First is "Never Said 'I'm Sorry'," a beautifully performed autoharp-driven song about a boorish, unapologetic lover who does things like break the protagonist's abacus, cheats on him and forces him to watch television. It's a song that rings true on many levels. Then there's the all-too brief "Pledge," an operatic-style limerick that's quite succinct and will make you smile for hours on end--even though, of course, it's quite serious and somewhat sad, too. The most rewarding track, though, is the album closing "Better Off Alone." With three simple words, the Moth Wranglers have summed up Morrissey's oevure and rendered it useless. After hearing this simple little track, you'll never again want--or need--to seek solace in The Queen Is Dead.

I've always considered the phrase 'never better' to be nothing more than a convenient lie that miserable people use socially, but in the Moth Wranglers' case, they've really never been better. Never Better makes depression fun, and should be a soundtrack to your next bout of gloom and doom.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.mothwranglers.com
Label Website: http://www.magneticmotorworks.com

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