Guest Review By Frank Gatto
When last we heard from Nate Moceri’s Frame the City, the “band’s” sound was decidedly conflicted between synth-based revelry and acoustic, introspective balladry – his very own Terminator. With his latest release, “We Were Wolves”, Moceri has amputated his humanity in favor of a Siberian kiss. The EP opens with a bossy beat offset by a playful melody that goes by the title “Headlines for White Lines”. The song is a discourse in blur, where Moceri’s vocals are confused with female harmonies, and the verses are indistinct from a chorus of questionable existence. The title track is a droning ensemble of Album Leaf beats, wistful vocals, and emotion masked by gadgetry. These two introverted tracks are the perfect set-up for the album’s catchiest cut, “I Could Go On and On”. Weighing in at 3:30, the song features an ostensibly restless backbeat that conjures up faint memories of Robert Smith and his progeny of malcontents. The track is followed by what could very well have been the emotional apex of “We Were Wolves”. “Wearing Jeans to Bed” is the high water mark of Moceri’s songwriting and lyrical ability. Unfortunately Moceri’s undying affinity for digital processing creates distance between the song and emotional expression. It’s like saying “I love you” with your mouth but not your eyes. The mini album closes with a brooding cut aptly referred to as “Whisper in Winter”, where an apocalyptic bass line reinforces Moceri’s desire to crush the listener with reverb. Make no mistake, “We Were Wolves” is a competent display of songwriting and composition. Unfortunately, the wizard is fully concealed behind the curtain this time, leaving the listener hopelessly lost in Oz.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 heartbreaks
Best tracks: “Wearing Jeans to Bed”; “I Could Go On and On”
The Spawn Of: the Postal Service, T-1000, the Rentals, not Owl City
Best Paired With: Live Journal; driving during precipitation; driving at night no matter the weather
By: Frank Gatto
ihatekidslikeyou collective rating: 3.5 out of 5 unmailed love letters to Sarah Barthel