They may be new to the scene, but The Black Moods are undeniably old school.
A three-man outfit based in southern Arizona, The Block Moods have a sound that’s been missing in modern mainstream. Reminiscent of bands like Counting Crows and The Gin Blossoms with a touch of Shinedown mixed with a southern rock vibe and appeal, the Moods have something that a lot of other groups don’t. They’re an actual group, not just a frontman with a couple backup musicians.
“We’re just three guys (playing) rock ‘n’ roll music (who) write their own songs and that’s the essence of what we do,” guitarist/lead singer John Kennedy says. “We’re like what used to be going on (in popular music) and what everybody is getting away from.”
More than just the music The Black Moods create, Kennedy’s beliefs are traditional insofar as how his band makes music. He emphasizes the collaborative effort that goes into every song, drummer Chico Diaz and bassist Johannes Lar having as much say in the final product as Kennedy, even if he was the one who came up with the concept for the track and laid down the demo on his own.
In both of their studio albums thus far — 2012’s self-titled debut and Medicine, which came out in October — The Black Moods’ orthodox approach has been on display.
Although Medicine is a clear progression and advancement since their first record, The Black Moods didn’t deviate or experiment all too much with their sophomore album. They stuck to the roots of 21st century rock, but played more with powerful and actually audible basslines as well as harmonics, creating an album that feels more complete and professional. Well, as professional as rock ‘n’ roll can be.
Medicine plays with different sounds and ideas but doesn’t forsake what was going right before. Kennedy mentioned pulling inspiration from artists quite unlike the Moods — AWOLNATION, Kings of Leon, The Bee Gees, Big Data — helping make Medicine a full album that doesn’t become a slog of same-old-same-old.
“We’ve had time to mess with tones,” Kennedy says. “We got to really take our time on it and not be rushed. We had a catalog of songs to pick from because we’ve been writing so much.”
Although Kennedy is the principal songwriter, he professes that making music is still a collaborative effort, not just some guy alone “in their bedroom.”
“What’s different between us and a lot of bands that are out there is the chemistry that we have as far as between us three,” Kennedy says. “There’s not chemistry if you’re doing it all yourself.”