Dark Snack

The Moaners. Yep Roc

| Tue Mar. 1, 2005 4:00 AM EST

In her previous band, Trailer Bride, Mississippi’s Melissa Swingle overplayed the Southern gothic pose. But fronting the Moaners, she straps on a feedback-heavy electric guitar and makes liberating noise. Backed only by pounding drummer Laura King, Swingle evokes comparisons to everyone from the Velvet Underground to PJ Harvey, but the driving sound is wholly her own. She unleashes barbed-wire chords while reflecting on life’s outrages with unsentimental disdain. The churning “Terrier” seethes, “Don’t pretend to be my friend,” while on the woozy “Hard Times” Swingle mutters, “It’s hard to be proud to be American.” Amid the raw simplicity, there’s surprising variety: King bangs out a funky groove on “Flannery Said,” and a great pop melody lurks in the static of “Talk About It.” Stronger than a caffeine overdose, Dark Snack is disruptive, nasty fun.

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