Troyka: Moxxy (2012)
On Moxxy, the funky rhythms and melodies work best when they stay relatively free of electronics. Compared to the band's eponymous 2009 Edition Records debut,
Montague gets the bulk of the writing credits, including two tunes co-written with Blackmore. He has a nice line in titles that seem to promise one kind of tune but deliver another. "Dropsy" may conjure images of ailing, swollen-bellied, dissolute Victorian gentlemen, but the tune is a rather more endearing combination of Montague's fluid guitar and a heavier groove led by Blackmore.
"Chaplin" is a slow, melancholy, tune. If it is inspired by the film star then it's definitely his character's pathos rather than his slapstick violence. Downes and Blackmore keep the rhythm simple as Montague creates a sad but lovely solo. Co-written with Blackmore "Rest" centers on another rather gentle, though more upbeat, lead guitar part. Blackmore's "Zebra" shifts between hard-edged, funky, four-four beats and a prettier, gentler, more complex section.
Downes' two compositions are more downbeat. He underpins "Crawler" with a spooky Hammond bass line, creating an unsettling sound picture. "Islands" features subtly effective electronics and Blackmore's spiky drumming. Montague plays some long, fluid, lead lines reminiscent of Robert Fripp's early King Crimson daysperhaps it's no coincidence that the tune shares its title with that group's 1971 album.
Montague, Downes and Blackmore are accomplished players who are also maturing as writers. Moxxy ably demonstrates Troyka's development as a band that is honing its skills and refining the beauty and passion of its sound.
Track Listing: Rarebit; Dropsy; Crawler; Oedipus; Rest; Islands; Zebra; Chaplin.
Personnel: Chris Montague: guitars, loops; Kit Downes: Hammond organ, piano, Fender Rhodes; Joshua Blackmore: drums.
Record Label: Edition Records