The Flaming Moes – Dirty Lives, Midwest / 214 place

I returned from Landisfest yesterday, where I heard the just-re-branded Flaming Moes (formerly Butterbones). This band is an iteration of a particularly tight-knit group of musicians from Grande Prairie, Alberta. Shuffle the deck of GP flagship band Wand and you find the Flaming Moes; Jordan Soles shoves Derek Janzen from the microphone and occupies centre stage, full of motion, slamming the guitar.

In Jordan’s words, the Flaming Moes are a “Top 40” rock project, a one-off, throwaway direction. I hear something more resonant: mournful mid-20’s small-town anthems. Stories of Edmonton’s satellites, and of the transience of the northern Alberta oil towns. There are only a few who can tell these tales — GP is not an easy place to make music. A self-aware humour emerges amidst the seriousness of the songs. But there is also a great deal of substance: a critique of the top-40 sounds and migratory workmanship swirling around the band. I walked away from Landisfest with a handmade double EP — sink your teeth in below.

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