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Fresh out of self-quarantine and cruising down the highway in the Pacific Northwest, my feet are compelled to start tapping as the electrifying beat blasts from my speakers.  The volume on my van’s stereo is cranked and the warmth of the sun has finally made an appearance through the clouds, a much welcome change to the bleak winter that is now behind us.

With a band named The Black Moods, it would be all too easy to assume a shoe-gazing, doom and gloom fest was about begin.  Surprisingly, you couldn’t be further from the truth.  Hailing from the warm deserts of Tempe, Arizona,  the industrious rock trio: vocalist and guitarist, Josh Kennedy; drummer, Chico Diaz; and bassist, Jordan Hoffman return with their triumphant brand of working man’s Modern Rock with their second studio album, Sunshine.

In a world of seemingly never-ending unease, I vehemently tried to dislike this album.  I sought to pummel my ears into oblivion with a soundtrack that would mirror the agitation I feel every time I watch the evening news.  Luckily, much like the title of the first track that shares its name with the album, “Sunshine” embraces your ears like warm rays on a windowsill. Those darkened skies brighten to an endless blue fueled by an upbeat groove. 

Armed with a solid and engaging vocal performance by Kennedy, the good vibes don’t slow down there. Both of the upbeat tracks “Bella Donna” and “Whatcha Got”, are a party ready to explode.  “Bad News” has a pinch of Grohl’s influence while staying on course with their own gritty and luminous sound. Hoffman’s low-end groove takes the spotlight on “Dirty Mess”, the soundtrack for the hardened road warrior with a weathered guitar case in his trunk and a woman on his mind.  As the sun begins to set, the album closes on an introspective note with the acoustic melody, “Home”.

Sunshine is an album that takes your long drive from a toil to a joy in a heartbeat.  It’s going dancing with your favorite lady on a Friday night after a hard day’s work.  It’s a good time encapsulated in under 35 minutes with hooks so catchy it’ll have you singing those lyrics long after the album ends. The Black Moods are just what the doctor ordered in these trying times and in the Sunshine is where we all want to be.


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.9 out of 10

Artist:  The Black Moods,  LPSunshine  Release Date: May 8th, 2020,   Label: Steelhorse Entertainment / The Fuel

Raul Soria Jr.

Photojournalist - Portland

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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