The Moaners

Until recently, the Moaners‘ guitar-and-vocals half, Melissa Swingle, was the mysterious voice of alt-gothic heroes Trailer Bride. One day, she found herself singing one beautifully depressing country song too many, and that was it. Next thing you know, she was partnered with Grohlesque rock drummer Laura King, firing up sliding, swampy surfish tunes and rocking all the joints she used to swoon in. Cynics might point out that the duo’s move is getting a little played out, what with the Stripes, the Black Keys and other garagey two pieces. But songwriters such as kindred spirit Richard Buckner and blues rocker Michelle Malone have known for years that touring good songs with a fine drummer is always a plus. The Moaners still lyrically channel fellow southerners Flannery O’Connor and Elizabeth Cotten, but with the high-velocity rips in “Heart Attack” and “Terrier,” Swingle’s new direction should remind folks in Lawrence of the once-ubiquitous men’s-room French-tickler dispensers that claimed, “If she’s already a moaner, this will make her a screamer.” (Judging by a few of Swingle’s lyrics, she may be aware of these machines, too.)

Categories: Music