Emerging onto the scene early last year with a debut single and EP, Florida alternative metal band Moodring quickly caught the attention of UNFD, who re-released Showmetherealyou with a new song. Work quickly began for the band on their debut full-length album, Stargazer, which drops June 10th. To say the band has been hyped since their earliest stages is an understatement, with the most obvious comparisons being to bands like Loathe, Deftones, Teenage Wrist, and even Soul Blind.
There’s a lot at play when you consider what genres of music Moodring might fall into. Some tracks on Stargazer echo post-grunge (surprisingly), while others accurately fall into the new legion of alt-metal/shoegaze-influenced bands that permeate the scene. To be fair, Moodring’s Deftones influences are prominent, but calling them a carbon copy of the alt-metal band would be doing everyone a disservice.
Thankfully, Moodring are at their best when they stray from typical conventions. Stargazer has a nice balance of heavier and also more melodic flair. Multiple tracks on Stargazer, especially “Peel” and the title track, consist of only melodic singing and atmosphere. There’s also “Disintegrate”, which is fitting as both a great introductory track to the band as well as one of Stargazer‘s biggest selling points.
On the flip side, there’s also heavier tracks like “Head In The Clouds” that definitely land on the nu-metal side of things. The song’s atmosphere and Hunter Young’s vocals could easily fit in on Around The Fur, with a timeless quality that it’s clear Moodring are going for. “Constrict” has a more menacing atmosphere with a huge chorus, and it’s just begging for rock radio play if we’re being honest, and “Novocaine Bones” pushes the band’s obvious shoegaze influences to the forefront as well.
Clocking in at 36 minutes long, Stargazer smartly opts for familiar song structures and more accessibility instead of 6+ minute long progressive epics. There’s very little to really complain about from a musical perspective, outside of the song structures feeling a bit similar. Yet interestingly, when you listen to Stargazer, you’re likely going to feel like the band has some untapped potential that they might explore on future material. Considering how good of a debut this is, though, that’s by no means a bad thing. Moodring have some huge potential that is surely untapped. With huge vocal melodies that are infectious and an atmosphere that is engaging, Moodring’s Stargazer is a clear highlight of music in the first half of 2022.