29 June 2015 (released)
30 June 2015
If you were one of many Americana fans excited by the reforming of the original line-up of The Jayhawks four years ago, but then left disappointed by the subsequent album and inevitable break up, then like a summer breeze blowing through a heatwave, Moors & McCumber arrive bringing sweet relief.
This is the fourth studio recording for James Moors and Kort McCumber and is produced by Gary Louris of The Jayhawks - and the evidence of his presence is clear. No Way To Live opens with guitar and piano, a sublime hook pulling you in as the song slowly builds, just like Louris's former colleagues. He even lands a hand with backing vocals to make the record even more reminiscent of Hollywood Town Hall-era Jayhawks.
Louris says "I know from personal experience the magic of finding that perfect musical partner. James and Kort complete each other...they fill in each others blanks and that makes for really really great music". He describes the album as sophisticated yet simple and deceptively crafted, doing in those four words a perfect job for the reviewer. Pandemonium is full of craft; whether it's the fiddle backed Take Me Away or the moody title track, the album feels put together with delicate care.
Many of the tracks take a little time to seep through but for instant gratification, there is the wonderful Everything, while the opening to Bend Or Be Broken feels like a folk-rock rendition of London Calling. After more than a decade working together Moors & McCumber are reaching top form.