The Moment - Showdown at the Discotheque (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Moment

Showdown at the Discotheque (2005)


Rockford, IL's the Moment was at one time the project of Zach Newman, former lead singer of local legends God's Reflex. They released an EP as a trio, which sounded pretty much like God's Reflex with minimal electronics. But then Newman left the group and they added vocalist PJ Heckinger, formerly of another Rockford group, Carly's Day Out, and Phil Gordeau, also ex-God's Reflex, to play guitar alongside Nate Kirschmann and drummer Eliott Porter. Though Newman gets co-songwriter credits on four of the songs on this full-length, the Moment is like a new band. They no longer share much with God's Reflex; electronics have stepped up to the forefront, and the overall feel is much heavier with help from Heckinger at the mic. Building upon the harder post-punk sounds of bands like Hot Water Music or Small Brown Bike, but giving you more backbeat to shake your ass to, The Moment really deliver on Showdown. Think Death from Above 1979 -- dancey but hard, and with the synth and drum machines of the Faint, but more guitar heavy. Sometimes the layers of synths remind me of `80s throwbacks like the Killers, but The Moment have way more backbone and anger.

I was very impressed right away with track two, "Remove the Cancer," with its sweet synth line linked between guitar blasts, all with the simple lines of "We're cutting / We're c-c-c-c-cutting! / We'll bring it / We'll b-b-b-b-bring it!" I know that stuttering trick has been done a bunch (the Who's "My Generation" probably started it all, and ATDI already did "c-c-c-cut it!" in "Rolodex Propaganda"), but I'm a sucker for it and I almost always love it. Another simple great line is found in "James Dean" where PJ yells "So hit that floor/ Shake it up, shake it off!" over a break with guitars slamming in at the tail end.

Some tracks rely more heavily on electronics than others. "One Dollar Love Affair" has dancey drum machines throughout and sparse electronic instrumentation, sounding very Faint-ish, especially with the frightening whispers of "The girls make the boys scream / The boys… The boys." The bridge of closer "Burn the Heretic" breaks down to just electronics until the guitars bring the song crashing into a small major-key moment. On tracks where Heckinger sings more than screams, like "The Kids Dig the Murder Scene" you get the more DFA1979 feel, and "The Evening" has moments that find the band more in their God's Reflex sound of the past (Newman is credited to this track), but they never stay for long.

"Take What You Want" has an evil Killers vibe to start, but then it breaks down into just drums, bass and minimal synth and a chant of "Take what you want, when you want it, if you want it!" It feels oddly similar to "This shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s!," and that's a good thing here. It's so simple; it works because you can sing/shout along after only one listen. People like to yell while they shake their ass.

Although the dance-punk thing is getting a bit overplayed, the Moment take an angle on it that keeps things fresh. They don't settle with some formulaic disco groove like many others, they switch things up considerably throughout the album to keep it interesting. I will add these guys to the list, alongside Ryan's Hope, Cougars and Colossal, of my favorite active bands from the state of my birth.