It’s an itch I can’t cure. Everytime I play a song by a new band, my head goes in circles, searching for some kind of simple comparison to make with music that I’m more accustomed to. Maybe that’s an automatic response for most people, but it’s something I’m trying to shake. Moustad, then, have proved to be something of a stumbling block in my attempts to value music at face value, without giving kneejerk comparisons to other bands.
Pick a track from their debut, self-titled album and you’re presented with a stampede of peers. Thoughts are fizzing, where a song like “Skùgga” will swing from Animal Collective-round-a-campfire playfulness to a distinct, spiky-guitar style not at all dissimilar to something on a Chad VanGaalen record. The indie hall of fame acts come out to play all at once. And that’s not a tragedy. If Moustad sounded like something on a Black Eyed Peas b-sides collection maybe we’d have an issue.
Once you’re accustomed to their music, the Gothenburg band begin to reveal the very essence of their own sound, which is in itself pretty peerless. In a self-resolution of avoiding telling readers that ‘X sounds like Y’, I’ve clearly failed. But give “Skùgga” a listen and hopefully all will be forgiven.
The Equestrian Vaulting album is out now on Fixe Records.