Miguel Oria – vocals, guitar
Jeff Corcoran – vocals, guitar
Bob Bush – bass
John Hubbell – drums
Mike Walle – bass
Creative tension has fueled some of the most fruitful musical partnerships, burning half as long but twice as bright in the pop culture sky. None can say how long a group of divergent talents can subjugate their individual excesses for the greater glory of The Song or The Band — it falls to us only to enjoy the creativity and craft. It’s fun while it lasts.
Enter Moby Jane. Sure, if you go back far enough you can find all of their influences spouting from the same rock like water under Moses’s rod. But the four members of the band have taken different roads, encompassing everything from classic rock to the blunt-nosed Midwestern neopunk of bands like the Jesus Lizard and Mule. They’ve all done their time in miscellaneous bands we no longer care to remember. Now they are together.
They began in the grand tradition of their forefathers, crafting their tunes out of extended jams on stage and in practice. The songs were never the same twice; Moby Jane thrived on creating spontaneity, pushing the envelope of their abilities and what the songs (and the audience) could take. By the summer of ‘94 they’d amassed about sixty live performances, and it was time to set down some of their music for the record.
This Metal Coil followed . . . recorded over the summer by Toledo guru Mark Mikel, it captures the Janes (with former bassist Mike Walle, now attending Bass Institute of Technology) at their organic best. Reviling in their past with both feet firmly planted in the present, the band set down their best work to date — then stopped.
For several months after the recording, Moby Jane buckled and strained under the internal conflicts and pressures that collapse lesser entities. Live shows ceased as the group questioned not only its existence but its direction and purpose. By the time things had been more or of less hashed out, Toledo-based Sin Klub Entertainment had approached Moby about releasing This Metal Coil for public consumption. The band, now assured of its survival, eagerly jumped into bed with the ultrahip (and unbiased!) label for the release and promotion of the album.
This Metal Coil, like all good rock albums, is a milestone for the band. It marks a turning point in songwriting, musicality, and state of mind for these four stalwarts. They still don’t agree on much, but they have proven themselves willing to stick it out and work together. Even longtime fans will be startled by the new entries into the once-again-gigging Janes’ set list. They’re a band overdue for a resurgence, and it’s arriving now for those who catch on.
This Metal Coil: it’s an eye-opening picture of a great rock band at one point on their own personal time line. It’s a solid shot of the present . . . and a tantalizing hint of what’s yet to come from a dynamic and vivid band who’ve barely scratched the surface of their potential.
This Metal Coil
Sin Klub, SK050, 1995
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