In only a few years, The Moondoggies have captured their hometown music scene's heart. No big feat, if they were from some backwater but given that they're based in Seattle, it's quite a coup. After a listen to their new EP, it's clear why they've caused such a stir. There are no gimmicks or pretenses to be found; it's honest, subtle and timeless music reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s (think Neil Young sans the nasal quality). "It's Hard to Love Someone" is a boisterous barroom sing-along, while "Just Makes Sense to Me" is resigned lonesomeness incarnate. And there's also a faint hint of something decidedly modern. It's boogie-blues meets cosmic-cowboy two-step, blended with a fair helping of Pacific Northwest-rainy season melancholy.
Bolstered by unembellished guitar, Rhodes organ and drums, the vocal harmonies are what really sparkle. In the lament "Down the River," The Moondoggies mention a girl who "chases off the liar in me," and this line speaks to the character of the whole album. Filled with romances and loss, the lyrics and music throughout are both poignant and no-nonsense.
The Moondoggies play the Palace Thursday, June 3, at 9 PM with Blitzen Trapper. $13/$11 advance at Ear Candy.