Scraping Genius Off The Wheel

YOU BET I’VE GOT SOMETHING PERSONAL AGAINST YOU, MOSE GIGANTICUS

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Being a metal blogger makes me some sort of music journalist, apparently, and membership in this club has its privileges. Perhaps the coolest of these is the tendency to hear new albums weeks or even months before the general public. Unlike you, I don’t have to speculate on whether or not the forthcoming Danzig album will sound good–because I’ve already fucking heard it (and it’s a serious letdown, my friends.) But I don’t want to talk about Danzig right now. I want to talk about Mose Giganticus, a recent Relapse Records signing that I’ve expressed my distaste for before.

Why do I take issue with this band? Well, “The Left Path”, the first track the band released, essentially took unique elements from the Melvins’ “A Talking Horse” and regurgitated it. The similarities are pretty much undeniable by anyone familiar with the (A) Senile Animal, and were enough for me to publicly call Mose Giganticus out on it. Today, given the opportunity and audience afforded to me as a MetalSucks writer, I can reveal that, having received an advance promotional copy of their upcoming album, that there’s at least one other obvious instance of Melvins-snatching on the record. Out of professional courtesy for the label, I wont post the track in advance of the album’s release, but the opening track “Last Resort” seemingly co-opts quite a few elements from the Melvins’ “The Bit”–from riffs to vocals. It’s not as blatant as in the previously cited case, but it’s assuredly there and I know at least one other Melvins freak who concurs with me on this. This is more than a coincidence and even Mose Giganticus unapologetically concede this.

Look, I know there’s a difference between influence and thievery when it comes to music. As several people have indicated before, Mose Giganticus have a Mastodon influence. And yeah, they clearly dig the Melvins a lot too, a trait that they have in common with Mastodon as well. But I want to show you this quote from an interview conducted earlier this year with band member Matt Garfield:

I definitely draw from well-established rock music. In keeping with the discussion of acknowledging, I’d be happy to, and even enjoy walking anyone through each of my songs and pointing out the various songs I “stole each part from” … while The Emotron and I are driving around on tour listening to music, I tell him “Oh man, I’m gonna use this part for something” referencing a Melvins riff, or some Faith No More song… But sometimes you can tell the difference between a part that was genuinely inspired by another song, versus someone who forces a reference to another artist because they think people would react to it. People who are paying attention can usually detect the difference between inspired art and forced art.

By his definition, I’d feel pretty comfortable subjectively considering Mose Giganticus’ music “forced art” and I suspect that many will agree with me. Evidently, Garfield just doesn’t seem to realize when the line’s been crossed, which makes him just as bad as Nick Simmons, who you may recall ripped-off panels from a well-known manga and tried to pass them off as his own. You can’t “borrow” that much from another band’s songs without formally crediting/compensating those artists you “borrowed” from and expect to be respected. Just ask MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice!

So, if you’re even thinking about buying the Mose Giganticus album, at least make sure you also purchase the Melvins’ latest record The Bride Screamed Murder, which came out on Ipecac earlier this month. You’ll be rewarding a band that actually deserves your hard-earned dollars.

-GS

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