“Dark Moods” is a mountain. The mountain was made of despair and regret. Furnaced under the cloud-blotted sun of self-reproach. And then, of course, it was turned into ski slope. No, you aren’t going to stop at some highway lookout to gaze and ponder and tick a box on your bucket list. You’re going to shoot forward from the precipice of its most dangerous slope – a triple black diamond – your skis feeling as though they could yank themselves out from under you and flutter away like flakes of paper. ‘Look!’ you point and scream, as the wind tears your nostrils into sockets for knuckles, ‘this is sadness!’ And it is awesome, invigorating, and wonderful.
Kabir Kumar’s vocals are crushed. Instead of lazing on top of the instrument mantle, they must work their way out from a core, seeping into any available opening, saturating a crust of clarinet, flute, bass, guitar with the onyx heft of their magma. If Julian Lynch were the least bit more nostalgic for the sleepless pre-teen nights he spent listening to “The End Has No End” on 104.3, he might have written “Dark Moods.” He didn’t.
But thank god someone else did.