Review: Moral Guest - "Mooral Gest"

Moral Guest - Mooral Gest
(Self-Released 2014)

Bedroom pop artists take note: this is how lo-fi is done right. Moral Guest's most recent EP release is a sort of throwback to the beach-pop explosion of 2010. The project runs sparkling guitar melodies through layers of muck and reverb, finding a middle ground between post-punk and shoegaze. The first of Mooral Gest's three tracks, "Let Me Down", begins with a chunky surf-rock bassline, its blunt force tempered by a buttery, repetitious riff, laced with a slight phase effect to give the track a swirling timbre. Distant percussion and detached, nearly spoken-word vocal delivery join the droney instrumentation, making for fast-paced slice of guitar pop tinged with a hint of melancholy. 

The song is followed by the more ethereal "Wild Man", much spacier than its predecessor. The guitar tone is glassy, with notes played in a high register. The vocals are so buried in reverb that they're impossible to hear, coming out in a breathy warble that vaguely recalls Jack Tatum's tender intonation on Wild Nothing's debut album. "Do You Feel It?" rounds out the EP, slowing things down considerably, stewing in dreamy vibes and grimy distortion. Mooral Gest is a beautiful, fleeting hit of grimy dream-pop that makes good use of its short length.