Sound Off: Peachcake's Stefan Pruett on Moe'Z Art, Hemoptysis, and Decker
Welcome to the latest installment of our weekly feature, Sound Off, in which Jason P. Woodbury is joined by a different guest each week to listen to and discuss three tracks from local Phoenix artists. If you would like your songs to be considered for future Sound Off columns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clockwise from top left: Moe'Z Art, Decker, Hemoptysis, Peachcake
Peachcake is no stranger to the Sound Off treatment. DJ Pickster One and I reviewed the band's track "Who Are These People and Why Do They Suck" back in September. Peachcake frontman Stefan Pruett e-mailed saying he'd love to sit down and listen to some music, so I tried to pick three tunes that sounded as unlike Peachcake as possible.
To his credit, Pruett was game, showing up sporting bright pink pants and a fistful of leftover Halloween candy. We listened to tunes from AZ rapper Moe'Z Art, metalheads Hemoptysis, and lo-fi folkie Decker.
Peachcake is scheduled to perform with Peter Murphy and She Wants Revenge on Thursday, November 3 at the Marquee Theatre.
Moe'z Art, "The Beast"
Moe'z Art is a Phoenix-based rapper. He recently released his debut LP, The Beast. He is scheduled to perform Saturday, November 12, at The Fixx in Tempe.
Stefan Pruett: I like that synth work, kind of the timbre of it, sort of the way it's bouncy. It has a synth-pop component to it, so I appreciate that. Is he white? Not that it matters or anything, but sometimes it changes your perception of something.
Up on the Sun: Yeah. What did you think?
I thought it was good. It really captured me for about the first half of the song, but halfway through, I started to lose some interest. I felt like it's got really good melodic components going on, and the melodic structure of the song is good. It's pretty straightforward, too. The hook is pretty good, too. I felt like the female vocal was one of the stronger parts of the song, but as it hit about 2 1/2-minute [mark], I really started to lose it.
It never went to the next place; it was verse/hook, verse/hook.
The verses didn't totally capture you.
I didn't really like the hook.
I liked the electric piano bit a lot. But the melody of the vocals was just too predictable. It was a super "pop hook," and it sounded good, was performed well, but it didn't excite me. In hip-hop, if you're going to have a hook, it needs to be the thing that people aren't going to be able to get out of their head for the rest of the day.
The thing that caught me that was unique, but also sort of problematic about the song, was that it's not produced like a commercial hit. It kind of has a indie-vibe to it. With the verses, there's sort of this indie hip-hop vibe.
So it's somewhere on the cusp of being commercial and falling back into indie. Which is what I think confuses the listener after awhile. You're like, "Oh, the song's still on." There was a certain point where it hit and I was like, "Oh man, we're still listening to that song."
It is cast somewhere between the backpack/indie rap and a bigger thing. That didn't bother me, production wise, I liked the choices. I enjoyed that it was laid-back, it is a little...
It dragged a little.
One or two bridges doing something different could have really broken it up. But overall, the sound quality I really liked.
It's a good recording. I think that it wasn't hitting in the way a song could hit. That excitability was lost, and some of that was because the production. It wasn't because it was low-grade or lo-fi; it was just that [the] quality wasn't it was in the pocket. It just felt like there was an extra oomph missing.
I would be curious to hear if he gets more aggressive, or if it's all kind of mellow...
From what I understand, we have a guy who writes for Valley Fever who caught him last weekend, and he was blown away. He saw him live at the Yucca and he really, really liked it.
I would be curious what his live set up would be like, too. That could make a big difference.
I don't listen to the radio all the time, but I do just hit scan sometimes when I'm driving. I heard the latest Nicki Minaj track 'Superbass,' and the hook in that song is just ridiculous. So much of modern pop really emphasizes this really strong [melodic hook].
It needs to explode. That's the summation: There was nothing explosive about that hook. The verses were suited for a laid-back party vibe. This would be perfect for a chill kickback with 10 or 20 of your friends, maybe 30 tops, and everyone is just kind of hanging out drinking or whatever, doing elicit things [laughs]. This fits right in there, but there was nothing that was boom -- holy shit. It seems [more] introspective, and that's cool.