Photo: Solomon Davis
Midpoint Music Festival
Midway Stage, corner of 12th St and Vine St, Cincinnati, OH
8:30pm, Buy Tickets at http://www.mpmf.com
Rising Nashville rock band MODOC has released its self-titled new album, a gritty, swaggering effort that has cemented the group as one of Music City’s newest, most promising rock n roll entities.
The self-produced, 12-track MODOC is now available at iTunes, with an expanded physical version due at select indie record stores later this fall. The group’s upcoming release and powerhouse live performances have increasingly earned the four-piece high praise among the local and national rock community.
“Fresh and unique… true rock n roll coming from Nashville!” raves Grammy-
“MODOC seems destined to fight past clichés and emerge as great rock band… They are synonymous for confrontational, hard-working and fearless,” says Black Rebel Motorcycle Club manager Dan Russell.
“Impossible not to feel the same reaction I get from The Clash, The Stones, or CCR when I listen to this music,” says Grammy-nominated Nashville producer Paul Moak, who produced MODOC’s “Devil On My Shoulder” track for ABC’s “666 Park Avenue” television series last fall.
Fusing a raw, guitar-drenched sound reminiscent of classic bands like Led Zeppelin and contemporary torchbearers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, My Morning Jacket and The Black Keys, MODOC first united at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. After relocating to Nashville in 2011, the band turned heads with their independently released 2012 effort, Fortune & Fame. The album spawned local buzz and a music video for the frenetic “Coward” and ultimately led to a 2013 management and publishing deal with Nashville-based Zavitson Music Group (ZMG).
“We wanted this new record to sound a little more live, so we kept a lot of raw tones and scaled back on stacking so many tracks,” says MODOC lead singer Clint Culberson. “We were still conscious of song structure and the overall quality of the songs of course, but we paid a little more attention to the recording and production process. On the other hand, just like Fortune & Fame, we kept this record brutally honest in the lyrical and musical sense. We just wrote what we felt, and we played like MODOC. It’s the only way we know how to do it.”
From the howling opener “When Ya Coming Home” to the more commercial, radio-friendly“Runnin” to the brooding, ominous “Devil On My Shoulder,” MODOC’s latest material is like a sharp jab to the face, highlighted by jarring guitar lines, taut melodies and distant gang vocals shadowing Culberson’s feverish, soulful wail. An early version of “Devil On My Shoulder” caught the attention of ABC television, which placed the song in last year’s 666 Park Avenue promos, a move that further increased the buzz among the Music City rock elite and led to writing sessions with legendary Black Crowes guitarist/producer Rich Robinson.
With recent performances at Milwaukee’s massive Summerfest, Indianapolis’ Fountain Square Music Festival and Nashville’s downtown concert series Nashville Dancin’, MODOC is gearing up for additional festival appearances at St. Louis’ LouFest (Sept. 7) and Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival (Sept. 27), among others.