Guitar solos, enough catchy melodies to power a small city, stories plucked from real life, and an overflowing naive optimism which would cheer the dourest traffic warden. These are the ingredients of what is so far the best thing to be released in 2020 – Almost Everything Is Bullshit, the debut full length album from adopted Londoners MOSES.
Starting with a song that has been recorded for over 4 years now, but has never faltered as an absolute fan favourite – ‘Cause You Got Me’, the album kicks off as it intends to go on. It’s upbeat and bounces along with a positive message: life sucks but it’ll be alright because you have a friend. This track has done some miles but has never lost its appeal; it was the theme tune for Camden Rocks and also appears on the Tombraider soundtrack but has only just received its first official release.
It seems that the most important word on this album is ALMOST. Almost everything is bullshit yes, but MOSES doesn’t care, because that means there is something that is not. Almost Everything Is Bullshit is an absolute triumph, each track is superb, this is such an accomplished debut that it’s hard to believe that having already supported Feeder, Jimmy Eat World and the Virginmarys and wowing audiences for almost half a decade MOSES are not currently self isolating in their millionaire pads in Kensington. Instead they are probably concerned like the rest of us about when they can go back to their income-making jobs. As one of the stand out tracks on the album ‘Waiter’ puts it they’ll “just wait, and wait, and wait” along with the general population.
This is one of the attractions of this record: it takes everyday life and turns it into art. In the same way as early Bowie concerned himself with character driven stories these seem like descriptions of real moments in time, real people, real worries; The Beatle’s Eleanor Rigby told us as much about Liverpool as any documentary or news item. Alongside the lyrical content it has the exuberant energy of early Kasabian, the melodies of The Wombats, the commercial potential of Blur and the guitar solos of Iron Maiden (ish). Take these elements and add the honest authenticity and open optimism of youth and you have an album which will be played for decades if the music biz allows it to rise to its full potential
The album tells a story too, not ‘boy meets girl’ , that’s too ordinary. No, this boy travels from another country with the optimism, drive and bravery of an immigrant, leaving the memories of his father behind. Comes to, and falls in love with, London. Takes a menial job to pay the bills whilst still dreaming hopefully of a life in the UK, a successful career in music and of course, the best friends. It’s not straightforward, he comes across barriers: toxic people and real life (who needs the money when you’ve got love though?) are both against him but his saving grace is his faith. Refusing to be bowed by the world, he chooses to look to the light, joy is all he wants and the only outcome he will accept. Be negative? well basically, he wont like you, because when you’re down you need love.
Without a doubt, it is vocally that the band stand out, Victor, being from Bucharest, has a distinctive voice which you will never mistake or forget and while the band are in their own way fantastic Victor is brilliant but also distinctive. Musically there’s a lot of reference points; from basslines that can drive like The Jam or Kasabian or bounce like Blur, to the guitar work which is very versatile, sometimes sounding like a cheerful Interpol or Bauhaus, sometimes Arctic Monkeys or even Dylan or The Smiths.
There is not a single weak track, no fillers, all stone-cold classics. Moses are not a one trick pony either; there is a variety in the tracks, fast and slow, layered or stripped down but always with these melodies nagging at your subconscious. The album finishes on the haunting acoustic Constantin. The music fades and we are left with Victor singing the last line of the song – “Oh my dad, all I can say is that I miss you..” and it brought a tear to my eye. It was as if the final gift of the album was the still beating heart of Victor offered up on a platter as inspiration for all our lives because even now he still has hope.
In a nutshell, Moses have written a brilliant album of songs for a movie that doesn’t exist yet. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Harry Styles as our charming, floppy haired hero, I’d watch it on repeat, especially with this cracker of a soundtrack (writers note: if this happens I’ll take 0.5% of box office).
Stream it, buy it on vinyl when available, to fully appreciate the brilliant album artwork of Ana Banica, go see them play live after lockdown – they are superb ! Do anything you can to get money into these guys pockets so they can continue to bring light to your world, instead of starters to your table. Almost everything maybe bullshit, but not this.