One of the first skills any fledgling rock critic learns is to dismiss forthright any bands alleged formula/recipe for how it crafted its sound: Were like the Beatles meet Led Zeppelin with a touch of the Monkees and a hint of Parliament-Funkadelic! inevitably sounds like lame John Mayer (and yes, I know thats redundant.) But the Chicago quartet the Moses Gun couldnt help but pique my interest when bassist Rich Harris wrote to promise a multicultural band that grew up listening to Todd Rundgrens Utopia, Wu Tang and Husker Du. sort of like an African-American Pixies, or Queens of the Stone Age. And guess what? The band actually delivered it.
Former by Harris and guitarist-vocalist Vell Mullens in Wicker Park in the mid-90s and completed by drummer John Marszalek and second guitarist Kudzai Kasambira, the group has certainly taken its time issuing a proper recorded debut. But a new demo showcased on its Web page (www.myspace.com/themosesgun) holds plenty of promise for an actual album or EP, from the martial grooves of the verses yielding to the anthemic indie-rock choruses of Gold to the tuneful hard rock of Stream of Consciousness, which brings to mind Living Color jamming with Dinosaur Jr. Thats the thing about formulas/recipes: Its hard to stop once you get started.