Bob Moses has released their sophomore artist album Battle Lines. Following up their breakout record Days Gone By that brought them international acclaim and the ability to tour around the world including the biggest festivals globally. The pressure was on with their third album to deliver an apt follow up that continued on their success, but also find a way to expand on who they are as artists.
Comprised of Vancouver natives Jimmy Vallance and Tom Howie, Bob Moses create an album about the battles that we all face. In a statement, they say that these battles can be “within ourselves, battles with and within our society, battles between each other, with our loved ones, battles between ideologies.”
Often on the record, they explore the battle lines that are drawn in relationships. Howie sings on "Selling Me Sympathy" about the difficulty keeping relationships that seem to breakdown over and over again. “Have faith in us / I know you wanted more / Is faith enough? / Don't say too much / I've heard it all before / Say what you must.”
Those aren’t the only battle lines being drawn on the record. They seek to try and reconcile what is going on society around which seems to be a constant battle and also struggle to even know where the lines begin, end or even are. “It’s also about the struggle to reconcile with those things, somehow,” the group says.
The album starts out with a bang on the opening song and first single “Heaven Only Knows” with its uptempo rhythms and deep electronic bass stabs. The top of the record really shines with the three main lead singles “Heaven Only Knows,” “Battle Lines” and “Back Down” all coming back to back to back. Then they turn things up a notch with searing electric guitar, which provides some extra bite and venom on “Eye For An Eye” and “The Only Thing We Know,” which also sees them dive into some more effects on Howie’s voice. The group has always used guitars, but this is when they start to go a bit heavier with their sound.
Days Gone By was a slower record and after all of their touring, they have been informed by the dancefloor and are adding some more uptempo records to their discography. That does not mean the slower, more measured tracks aren’t there. Some of those ballads come towards the end, especially the LP closer “Fallen From Your Arms.”
The recipe for Bob Moses with a blend of pop, indie and electronica remains largely the same, but they pick up the energy and add some new elements to the mix. It is a refreshing update to their sound and should see them keep moving forward to the end of the decade beyond.