NYC prog metallers Moon Tooth released an acoustic EP on Pure Noise earlier this year, and we recently checked in with them to see how they're holding up in this concert-less year, and to ask them about the music they've been listening to while living more isolated lives than usual.

"Here is what’s been helping the four of us get through these dark and uncertain times," they said. "We were pretty gutted about the touring opportunities and plans we had over the summer getting cancelled or indefinitely postponed, not to mention the uncertainty that all artists, venues, stage crews, and everyone in between is facing right now. Overall though, we’re all trying to stay positive and focus on what we can still enjoy: writing, learning, working on new material, spending time with our loved ones, and even something as simple and obvious as finding new music to transport your mind elsewhere when you really need that respite from the intense anxiety of the world has never felt more invaluable. We hope you all find some new tunes here that lift your spirits for a moment!"

Their playlist is filled with musical diversity, including songs by The Damned, Lianne La Havas, Big Thief, This Is The Kit, Best Coast, Protest The Hero, Tyler the Creator, The Acacia Strain, PUP, Rage Against The Machine, The Staves, Mastodon, Gojira, and much more. You can listen to their playlist and read commentary from all four members on their picks, below...

Nick Lee (Guitar)

The Damned - "Neat Neat Neat"

This song just gets me pumped up and in the mood to party even if I'm by myself... and I've gotten really good at that over the last six months.

Cesaria Evora - "Mar Azul"

A friend of mine recently turned me onto Cesaria Evora and I instantly fell in love with her voice, the guitar, and the music's ability to transport you to another place. It's been my favorite music to turn on when I'm home relaxing, making dinner, anything really.

J.D. Pinkus - "I Don't Care"

During quarantine times my fiance and I made a habit of taking long drives out East on Long Island just to get out of the apartment and get some air. This whole album was my favorite soundtrack for those drives. It's just Pinkus and his banjo singing some outlaw country style tunes but it's raw and real and even a little psychedelic at times. Something about the gravel of his voice and the growl of the banjo is very relaxing to me and the lyrics are occasionally hilarious... see also "Pissin' Dirty".

Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola, & John McLaughlin - "Passion, Grace, and Fire"

Since Moon Tooth has been in full "acoustic mode" for the better part of 2020, I have been all about this incredible trio. If you're a guitarist and haven't dug through this album or 'Friday Night In San Francisco" then you are sorely missing out on some amazing music and feeling bad about yourself for not practicing enough!

Netherlands - "We're All Gonna Die One Day"

The Netherlands from Brooklyn are friends of ours who we have shared many stages with over the years. Their new record 'Zombie Techno' is a whole new vibe for them and this track I feel like highlights a lot of what makes them so unique and special. Beautiful melodies, crushing guitar sound, killer solo, and apocalyptic dread abound!

John Carbone (vocals)

Lianne La Havas - "Paper Thin"

The kind of song that makes you stop what to you're doing, close your eyes and groove. The first time I heard the chorus, I got choked up in the way that you do when you realize you're in love with someone. The vocals and guitar tone are smooth and soft, agile yet tender. This song embraces you like a true partner. Also a lot of fun to play drums to. One day I threw a blanket over my kit to mute the sound and played to this song on repeat for half an hour.

Middle Brother - "Blood and Guts"

From 2011 but I didn't even know this was a band until I heard this on WFUV the other day. I recognized Taylor Goldsmith's voice as I'm a Dawes fan. It was a rebroadcast of a live set so I was afraid when I looked up the album version, it wouldn't be as good. But it totally holds up to the amazing live version I heard. Such a simple but powerful song.

Big Thief - "Cattails"

There's been a lot of hype about Big Thief the past year or so and I think they're absolutely worth it. This song is like a stream that flows and slightly meanders through grass, glowing green from the setting sun on an early June day. And you feel glorious like you're slightly tripping only it's gold light, soft earth, steady rhythm and bouncing guitars instead of LSD. And Adrianne Lenker's repetitive melody and intimate voice are the care-free youthful spirit that we should all give in to more often.

This Is The Kit - "This Is What You Did"

Another recent find on FUV. I live for those moments when you hear something new and you don't just think it sounds cool, you think "woah I NEED to know what this is". And it colors the memories you make over the next month or so. I look at 2007-2010 as a kind of golden age for indie rock and the years that followed saw many artists trying without success to match the brave and unique style of those year's heavy hitters. This song did a good job of catching my attention like great acts of the late aughts did.

Best Coast, "Boyfriend"

Speaking of indie rock's golden age, this one just turned 10 so I've been spinning the same thin and scratched record I had from back then. At the time I lived at my buddy's place which was essentially an artist commune/DIY venue/party house. I used to smoke spice/K2 a lot back then and when it wasn't freaking me the fuck out, I'd put this record on and get pummeled by the fuzzed out, ten story-tall tones. Bethany Cosentino's reverb-drenched vocals were like a stoned siren goddess calling me to follow where she led. Also they just recorded a new version with gender neutral pronouns to show solidarity which is a pretty rad gesture.

Vincent Romanelli (Bass Guitar)

Protest The Hero - “From The Sky”

I’ve been a longtime fan of this band and was eager to dive into their lastest album Palimpsest. This band has always blown my mind, not only on a technical level...but also with how they can create such timeless and beautiful moments worth going back to visit over and over again. Here is where “From The Sky” comes into play. I remember hearing it the first time while driving, completely missing my highway exit and not acknowledging I did so for the entirety of the song. What starts as a fast and groovy build up then breaks into something so epic and breathtaking it shakes your core, like standing on a cliff forgetting the fear of falling and standing in awe at what lies beyond your fingertips. Listen to Protest The Hero, because you're missing out if you don't.

Tyler, The Creator - “See You Again (feat. Kali Uchis)

Sometimes we eat an edible and get lost on Instagram for hours that seem like seconds, eventually coming to and winding up on Adele’s page. There we see a post of a pink square presenting the album art of IGOR by Tyler, The Creator. We think to ourselves “if Adele fucks with you, I’ll give a listen”. The next morning I wake up to my lady telling me I’m mumbling this chorus in my sleep. She makes me play it for her all the time now… The hook is dope, and Tyler creates with such a colorful palette in his music. Very much respect.

Trade Wind - “I Can’t Believe You’re Gone”

On tour, we tend do many over night drives trying to crush the miles between shows. It’s 3am, laying your bench bed as Ray Marte is driving the van so you feel really safe because he is the best driver in Moon Tooth (yeah, I said it). The adrenaline from the show has come and gone, and you're looking for album to relax and wind down to… Certain Freedom by Trade Wind. Unfortunately, tours aren’t really a thing right now, but putting on my headphones and playing “I Cant Believe You’re Gone” brings me back to the sweet embrace of being tucked away in my bunk, barreling down the road with my best friends. I miss touring😢

The Acacia Strain - “Chhinnamasta”

"Chhinnamasta" is just the The Acacia Strain continuing to be one of the heaviest bands on the planet. I’ve been jamming their newest album Slow Decay, and this song helps me deal with slow drivers in the left lane, and all the nerds who won’t wear their face masks at the supermarket. Pretty sure playing this while you work out makes you lift more too. See also: "Seeing God" (feat. Aaron Heard).

PUP - “Anaphylaxis”

My buddy Travis showed me PUP last year, and I’ve been hooked since. This band has this energy and uplifting spirit of a night out drinking with your friends, followed by the playfulness of the staggered walk home afterward. “Anaphylaxis” pulls you in right away, and brings you along for the ride. Creative songwriting and a unique rock n’ roll experience with a swag all its own. Bump this band on your next bike ride or when you need a mood lift.

Innerlove. - “Hell”

Innerlove. is a band from our local scene, they write beautiful songs. They put out this track “Hell” earlier this year, it’s probably my most played song of 2020. Give it a listen.

Ray Marté (drums)

Rage Against The Machine - “I'm Housin”

This whole album is made up of HYPE juice. It puts me in a good mood, more so than anything else that has come out in recent years.

The Staves - “Black & White”

I love their voices and this song has no shortage of good vocal harmonies. It has lots of memorable melodies that get stuck in your head for days, especially the guitar lead in the choruses.

Mastodon - “Oblivion”

This is from my favorite Mastodon album, Crack The Skye. It has the perfect blend of guitar riff complexity and vocal melodies in my opinion. This song also has a lot of quick changes that are always welcomed when they happen.

Panzerballet - “Thunderstruck”

They are insane instrumentalists and the way they composed this cover of “Thunderstruck” made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it in a good way!

Gojira - “Explosia”

This song opens with one of the heaviest riffs and the longest pick scrapes I've ever heard. It hurt the first time I heard it, and still does.


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