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The most exciting moment on The Moon comes near the end of the title song, just two tracks into the disc. The drums drop out as the dreamy, tremolo- and reverb-drenched electric guitar fades away just as the strumming on an acoustic becomes insistently louder. Then the drums gently start up again, along with some quiet sleigh bells as the song fades out. And that's it. It's about as thrilling as the Salim Nourallah-produced album gets.

There are a few other attention-grabbing moments, like the slowly unwinding guitar solos of "Houston" and "Unraveled," which show an elegant combination of restraint and swagger. Otherwise, the emphasis is squarely on the vocals, as if the band is afraid to get in the way of Travis Hopper's songs of childhood nostalgia and longing to both get away from and return to home. That would work if he showed more confidence in his singing and if the band would just rock out for a song or two to break up the sluggish, subdued roots-rock monotony.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.