In 2022, it’s hard to find an artist, album or even a song that can withstand the test of time. Do just a little digging, though, and you’ll find bands like Moodring. With a dynamic sound that perfectly reflects what their name suggests, Moodring are an outlier in today’s constantly changing music scene, having managed to establish themselves with a timeless sound akin to that of Deftones at times, but versatile enough to hook you within just a couple of songs. With their debut full-length album, Stargazer, the band – comprised of frontman Hunter Young, guitarist Sean Dolich, drummer Lindy Harter and bassist Kalan Blehm – have proven that they have the staying power of 90’s alternative bands while blending elements of post-hardcore and metal in a way that’ll have you hanging onto every note.
Lyrically, Stargazer is a vulnerable album about letting go and giving in. Kicking off with the emotional, moody opener, “Disintegrate”, the band quickly sets the tone with soaring vocals and powerful bass tone, but it’s the chorus that really shines like a light in the midst of a storm. Songs like the vulnerable “Peel” do just what the title suggests; peeling back the layers of the band to their core in lines like “So when you peel me back / just keep me in tact”.
Lush and full from start to finish, Moodring don’t pull any punches on Stargazer, whether it’s in the personal, emotional lyrical content or the dynamic songwriting. Where soaring songs like “Peel” and the hopeful “Stargazer” showcase the band’s softer, more emotional side, “Constrict” and “Red Light Gossip” pay homage to their hardcore and metalcore roots with heavy guitar and bass alongside explosive unclean vocals that call back to bands like Slipknot. Then there is the hauntingly beautiful “N.I.K.E.”, which sits perfectly alongside the massive single, “SYNC.wav”, which manages to beautifully showcase both the light and darker sides of the band in stunning choruses and heavy verses. Bringing things to a flawless close are the final couple of songs, the longing “Novocaine Bones” and bright “Xeno (Foreign Love)”.
Stargazer will easily withstand the test of time. With a sound that draws influence from the greats that came before them but with a fresh new spin, Moodring have captured lightning in a bottle with this release. The album flows effortlessly from one song to the next without ever feeling repetitive or tired, and by the time it comes to an end, you’ll find yourself dying to listen to it all over again.