The Moods – Somebody’s Hero Nobody’s Soldier

In an effort to take the urban music scene by storm, nine-piece Manchester group The Moods share their new album ‘Somebody’s Hero Nobody’s Soldier’

This 12-track album is a non-stop train that fuses rich noise across a diverse sweep of genres. From the electronic extremities of ‘Fault In Our Stars’, to the reggae groove of ‘Same Hell’ and ‘True Revolution’, to the rapping mayhem of ‘The War’, to the soulful intensity that runs through songs like ‘Human Again’ and ‘Strong’. There is no way you couldn’t define this as a genre-bending endeavour.

Starting with the hype-building ‘Somebody’s Hero’ and ending on the compelling ‘Nobody’s Soldier’, the remaining tunes are sandwiched in the middle in an intense metaphor for the divisive world we live in and the problems it faces. 

A stand-out track for me was ‘Rise and Fall Of America’. A hip-hop track with a bit of a funk twist, reminiscent of someone like Gorillaz, the track uses a play on words of the American national anthem to produce a clever social commentary on the land across the Atlantic.

However, ‘Rise and Fall Of America’ is just one of the many tracks that demonstrates the diverse range of musical talent within The Moods’ arsenal.

I think the size of the group is something that really benefits them. As the group is nine people in itself, along with features from other artists, this gives The Moods an extensive musical toolkit to work with. Not only that, but they have successfully used it in a way that really reflects in the album, as no two tracks are overly similar.

A track that seems like it will prosper amongst listeners is ‘Blessings’, which features Edinburgh band Yoko Pwno. It gives off the vibe of an intense summer dance-rap tune with some catchy synth. Something that has worked wonders for people like Dizzee Rascal in the past, there’s no reason it couldn’t do the same for The Moods.

Whilst songs like this impressed me, one that I felt a bit underwhelmed by was ‘Instagram Influenza’. It wasn’t necessarily a bad tune, but the pun-ridden title seemed like a bit of a cheap and corny name. It was a gentle reminder that the title is the first thing a listener will see, so it’s always important to try and make it good. However, you can’t win every battle, and I’m sure the group will think this battle certainly isn’t the worst one to lose.

Listening to this album on a quiet afternoon might not be the best call, because it’s not unfair to say that this run of tracks is pretty relentless. There is no respite in The Moods’ challenge on society. Maybe just one slower, softer tune would have served the album well in breaking it up. Perhaps this is why the group have put out acoustic versions of their singles on occasion.

Whether or not the album could be rounded out with a slower tune, I have no doubt that this album could still be a hit for people looking for 40 minutes of intensity. I can even picture The Moods showcasing their talent at a notorious Manchester Warehouse Project in the future.