Moses Cleveland
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Moses Cleveland

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Bringing Back the Rock"

With "The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue", Moses Cleveland declare that they will not be classified, sorted or labeled. Their 8-song debut is as varied as it is honest, as catchy as it is poignant. Led by frontman and songwriter Adam Rowlings, this Midwestern independent rock quartet craft a sound that celebrates modern rock and roll while paying homage to the greats.

Not enough can be said about the album's versatility or the band's desire to expand beyond one particular sound. "Terrorize" is a tense crescendo, culminating in a finale that might remind some of Metallica's "The Call of Ktulu"; "Unmodest Marilyn" is an acoustic ballad perfectly suited to a crowd of lighters; and the title track is a folk-rock trip through bluesy guitars and warm bass grooves. The band even manages to harness a much slower, atmospheric tone for their closing track, "So Say You". The only two songs that vaguely resemble each other are "The Story of Mack" and "Two-Step Timmy", and only in their rapid, straightforward guitar assault reminiscent of Deep Purple.

Although the band does borrow some pages from the classic rock playbook, their style plays definite homage to contemporary independent rock artists such as Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse. The music allows for the bass guitar to stand out and often lead pieces with defining melodies, but the band's sound is mostly driven by the interplay between Rowings and Chris Adamescu's guitar musings. Keeping the sound together is drummer Tom Owen's energetic delivery, giving songs like "Terrorize" and "The Story of Mack" a rhythmic depth that sounds almost tribal.

"The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue" is a musical statement from a young band with a bright future, already showing promise with new songs currently being played at shows. With punchy lyrics and infectious melodies that will ring in your ears for hours, Moses Cleveland delivers that feel-good sound that harkens back to good, old-fashioned rock and roll. - Dan Solera

"Album Review: Chicago’s Moses Cleveland"

Chicago-based quartet Moses Cleveland just released their debut album The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue, and are preparing for a few Midwest tour dates. They kindly sent us a CD, so we had a listen.

Here’s what I love about Midwest rock: It’s honest. The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue starts out as an upfront rock album with the track “The Story of Mack.” But soon you hear a different side that shows a band developing an identity. Two songs, in my opinion, make this band unique: “Two-step Timmy’s Traveling Blues (Less is More)” and “Terrorize,” which will be featured in an upcoming game from the makers of Grand Theft Auto. The songs are rock, with distinct undertones of punk for good measure, and they finish as strong as they start.

The title track gives me a bit of an Alice in Chains feel, but is every bit of an original work. And that’s the thing – you get the feeling that Moses Cleveland knows what they like, and they know how to play it. I don’t get the feeling that they are trying to fit in anywhere. I like that.

There’s something else about Moses Cleveland – they have real talent. As you all know, we love live music and by listening to the CD, I can tell they put on a great live show. And you’re in luck, because they have some dates coming up. First, see them in Chicago on January 8 at Elbo Room. The next stop is The Phantasy Niteclub Symposium in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 16.

By the way, they earn bonus points for a listing of some of their influences, including: Dylan, The Black Keys, Wilco, Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes and Jimi Hendrix.

Moses Cleveland is Adam Rowings, Tom Owen, Chris Adamescu and Paul Bork. Head over to Lala, where you can give The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue a spin. Want to know the origin of the band name? It’s a good story, you can find it here. The debut album is also available to purchase on iTunes.

- Sound Citizen

"Talking Shop with Moses Cleveland"

A band solidly born in the Midwest, bred among the bar scene and good friends that come along with it, Chicagoans Moses Cleveland are four musicians just looking to have fun. Not taking themselves too seriously has done anything but impede their success as a band. The quartet had a song debuted in a national commercial for Nautica this past February, and will be featured in an up coming video game this spring. The band has also received plenty of good vibes for their lives shows around the Chicagoland area as well as their first full-length The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue, released on the bands independent label, Spaghetti Feed Records.

Though Moses Cleveland is currently in the midst of making their second album, one they say delves away from the basic rock structure of their first and incorporates more contemporary effects, The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue is still good example of what these musicians stand for. From the rolling, bluesy bass line and guitar soloing in ‘Story of Mack’ to the more punk driven drumming and borderline rockabilly sound of ‘Two -Step Timmy’s Traveling Blues (Less Is More)’ Moses Cleveland is band that both rocks and rolls.

The boys show their ability to slow it down and take a breather as well, like when they follow the formula for the classic rock ballad in “Unmodest Marilyn” and come off with a more alt-country feel in “So You Say (Rock Bottom)”. The former of the two gives one of the only examples of production effects, while the rest of the album comes off as relatively organic, clean, and simple. That standard rock aesthetic is fronted by vocals that have a deep rawness but still sometimes slip into a nasally croon akin the Old 97’s and a notch below Billy Corgan, which may or may not work for some listeners.

With their use of gritty guitars like those in ‘Terrorize’ as well as the more bouncy indie rock bass lines in the title track, ‘The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue’, its easy to see that this is a band that isn’t out to change the world or boost their bank accounts, but simply take what sounds good to them and share it with whoever will listen. For that, we’d like to say thank you to these city dwellers and look forward to what they’ll bring to the table next.

Reviewsic: How did Moses Cleveland start?

Adam Rowings: Back in the day, Tom and I used to play as a two-piece. He was actually a bartender at a place that had a really good deal on barbecue sliders, and I used to go in there a lot because they were really good, only a $1. So I got to know Tom, and I was playing acoustic shows at the time, then thought “Hey, why not. Let’s do a White Stripes, Black Keys kind of thing.” So we played around like that for a while in the city of Chicago. Then decided it was time to expand. Meanwhile our friend Chris, was this friend of a friend while still living in Cleveland, and we were out drinking-

Paul Bork: Which is a common theme…

Adam Rowings: haha yeah! But he was like,”if I ever move to town, we should jam sometime.” And when he did move to town we decided we wanted to fill out the band, and go beyond this two-piece we had been playing. Then we started to work on this album, just shut ourselves in for three months.

Chris Adamescu: Yeah, I ended up playing with them once and then just heard nothing from them for like…those three months. Then all the sudden on facebook I get this message saying, “Oh hey, are you still interested in playing?”

Adam Rowings: Pretty much haha We did the album, brought in some friends of ours as studio musicians and then gave Chris a call and shortly there after gave Paul a call, who was another person we met out at a bar-Apparently I like picking up band members at bars, just something I’m into I guess? Haha And that’s how we got the nucleus of our last album, and we’ve been using that as a stepping stone towards the future. We’re working on our second album already and doing it as a unit this time.

Tom Owens: It was pretty much just the two of us for the first album, but this next one we’re looking to make it the band as a whole.

Adam Rowings: Exactly. And what’s really great is that our live shows have evolved past what that album was too, by having different musican’s and their take on it. The first album is me playing all these different guitar parts, which is well and good, but it’s great to have them do their take on it and have an actual lead guitarist, and an actual bassist.

Reviewsic: Tell us a little about the new music you’re working on.

Adam Rowings: The new stuff we’re working on has been a great evolution for us. It’s got a much fuller sound, more atmosphere. The last album was very much straight forward rock and roll, not a lot of a effects, really simple ‘get in, get out’, just make it happen. This next album Chris put a huge influence on because he has a very atmospheric type of guitar sound, and that’s really coming through. But we’ve taken the core of those rock and roll type songs and started mixing in some modern influences and more effects, producing the sound a bit more, to be a little more indie rock than just straight rock and roll.

Reviewsic: That leads us to our next question…what has Moses Cleveland been up to as of late?

Paul: We’ve been playing around Chicago a lot, and we did our first out of town show in January, in Cleveland, which was a lot of fun because some of us are from Cleveland and there were a lot of people who actually knew us and came out, so that was pretty cool. A Nautica commercial using one of our songs just went live, which was awesome because there was really no effort on our part.

Reviewsic: How did that come about?
Paul: I believe they found us on eMusic?
Adam Rowings: Yeah! I swear this kind of thing never happens to us, but we released our album on the Internet and the very next day got the offer from them. Did nothing. It was the most random thing!

Reviewsic: What would you say your major musical influences are as individuals?

Chris Adamescu: Mine change way too much. I used to be obsessed with punk music when I was little, then blues all the sudden, and now I can barely listen to blues because I get so bored with it. So if I say I love Stevie Ray Vaughn you automatically thing one thing, and I can love one person as a guitar player, but not a whole band, you know what I mean? It’s really hard to say.

Paul Bork: I would say my tastes have really evolved. The first time I picked up a bass was for high school show choir, and from there I played in jazz band. So my basis for learning music was all blues/jazz stuff. Then the music I listen to is really eclectic. I listen to Howie Day, Elliott Smith, and then there’s Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Slipknot haha. So I’m all over the place, almost doesn’t make sense.

Adam Rowings: Oh yeah, I heard Howie Day and Slipknot were collaborating. It makes perfect sense!

Tom Owens: I’m a classic rock nerd. Pretty much anything from the 60’s, early 70’s- The Jimi Hendrix Experience is my all time favorite, has been since I was like 13. Mitch Mitchell is my drumming hero. Also, I’m a jazz fan, and I’d say grunge too. I love Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction- probably the first bands I discovered on my own, without my older brothers help. I saw an ad in a skateboarding magazine and thought “oh this is a cool t-shirt” and bought a tape haha. So pretty much straight forward classic rock, and I’m also an old school hip hop fan. When we were recording the album and I was hearing my beats by themselves it dawned on me that they were just kind of straight hip-hop without me even knowing it. So yeah, I’m old; I like the old school stuff.

Adam Rowings: I got addicted to classic rock early on, but I’ve keep a little more current with some of the indie stuff, and solid Midwestern rock bands. Stuff like The Black Keys, I love the White Stripes and The Hold Steady. That band is just electric live, I love the energy they bring to their shows and the way people will connect with the musical stories that they tell. And lately I’ve been getting a little more into Wilco, who I honestly didn’t appreciate for a long time because it seemed like such a cliché indie band to like, but more and more now I’ve started to like alt-country, so stuff like Wilco and Blitzen Trapper, that kind of sound, has started to grown on me.

Reviewsic: Is the new sound you’ve been progressing toward something you went into the studio with the mindset to do, or is it something that just sort of grew on its own?

Tom Owens: There’s definitely sort of an overall theme within the songs.

Adam Rowings: I think it was more about what we were trying not to do haha Which always a recipe for success…

Reviewsic: Alright, then, what is it that you’re trying not to do?

Tom Owens: Well I know I’m trying not to make my drum beats sound like the same old drum beats, with that same kind of hi-hat all the time.

Adam Rowings: We’re trying to make songs that still sound like our band, but with as much variation as possible. So like on the last album, a song like ‘Terrorize’ is very much a straight forward hard rock sound that almost is like Metallica in that it’s got those deep, crunchy guitars. And then you take a song like ‘Unmodest Marilyn’ that’s more a classic ballad, with heavy reverb and acoustic guitar. We’re trying to throw things out there and see what sticks, and the reason behind that is to push each other and see how far we can go. I think a a lot of the bands I really appreciate try new things, and will always be the ones that shake it up so it doesn’t all soundjust the same. The goal is to make an interesting album as opposed to an interesting song, something that you can listen to and hear different things instead of the same thing five different ways.

Reviewsic: What are you top three favorite venues?

Chris Adamescu: Metro. I saw Stereophonics there right when I moved here and I just love that place. I constantly say, “I want to play there, I want to play there.” It’s a big a goal. Liam Gallagher always says that the best shows to play are the small clubs in Chicago, and I love Oasis, so inevitably I agree haha.

Tom Owens: I would like to play Schuba’s, I’ve seen quite a few shows there and the sound is always fantastic.

Paul Bork: The best show I’ve been to in Chicago was probably at The Riv. And as far as places I’d like to play, there’s a cool club in Indianapolis called First Avenue, which is tiny, but I’ve seen people like John Mayer and Howie Day there.

Adam Rowings: A couple placed we have play that I’ve really enjoyed were The Empty Bottle and The Double Door. It was so cool to take the stage knowing how many great bands have come through there, and that’s half of it. The other half is the sound system, bands just sound good there. I know they made us sound better than we are, and that’s just great haha It’s a lot of fun to play when there’s such a great sound system. But when it comes down to it, the show makes the venue; the venue doesn’t make the show. You could be playing in a closet and if it’s a good set, it’s going to be a good time no matter what.

Reviewsic: Best and/or worst show you’ve seen?

Adam Rowings: I once bought tickets for a show that was supposed to be Block Party, Jack’s Mannequin, and Panic! At the Disco, because I really wanted to see Block Party…and then they cancelled, and got replaced by The Plain White Tees, and I couldn’t sell the ticket, so I ended up just going to the worst show I’ve ever seen. The teenage girls were everywhere and I just felt so out of place and uncomfortable.

Paul Bork: I could put down the best and the worst thanks to John Mayer. The first time I saw him it was before anyone really knew who he was, at this little 500 person venue in Minneapolis, and since no one knew his songs he could just sit there and solo for ten minutes because he’s such an amazing guitarist. So then I see him in Chicago with Guster, and expect a similar experience but instead it was terrible because it was all teeny-boppers. He didn’t do any improv stuff, it was just “let’s get through all my songs to please the crowd.” It wasn’t exactly bad as much as it was disappointing, it didn’t seem like he was playing to play it was just to appease the girls.

Tom Owens: I went to see Kool Keith, who is this sort of lesser-known hip-hop artist. I drove from Chicago to Cleveland to see this show and it was THE worst show- it was so bad that I didn’t even know it was him on stage. Like “Who is this? Where’s Kool Keith? Wait…this IS Kool Keith? This is horrible!” And he would say some stupid lyric, and then stop the music to laugh at his own joke. It was the most disappointing show ever, not to mention the 12-hour drive.

Chris Adamescu: I haven’t really been to any terrible shows, but I’ve been to shows I really didn’t want to be at because of girlfriends. Like I’ve seen O.A.R. like four times and I hate O.A.R. But when I was in fourth grade I saw Rancid with my cousin and I thought I was a cool punk rock kid. Then I almost peed my pants when this whole mosh pit started and I was this little 8 year-old kid that didn’t know what to do haha

Reviewsic: What are your plans for Moses Cleveland in the future?

Paul Bork: We’re looking to tour some, definitely head out and play more festivals. One of the things I’m really excited about, because I’m a huge nerd, is our music being used in a video game. I wasn’t even looking for music opportunities, I was just looking up video game stuff because I love them, and I found this thing about submitting music to be part of All Points Bulletin, this new game by Realtime Worlds Inc. So that’s definitely one of the bigger things I’m looking forward to.

Reviewsic: How did you get your individual starts in music?

Chris Adamescu: My Dad played guitar in this garage rock band in the 60’s and I used to run around the house with his guitar, a 1965 Epiphone Olympic that I still play now. Then when I was 6 or 7 he sat me down and taught me to play along to some songs by The Beatles, and from there I would just kind of mess around and figure things out. But I didn’t really discover that I wanted to be a good guitar player until I was in college, and I started listening to a lot of blues and sort of grew from there.

Tom Owens: I started playing with I was 18, but I also did a lot of air drumming in high school. All I had were sticks, because my parents wouldn’t let me have a drum kit. But I got my first kit when I was 18…then had to sell it when I was 19 and poor. Then I was working at this library in Cleveland where I met some really great musicians, and we’d meet over at someone’s house, grab a couple 40’s and just jam. We were pretty big in to experimental jazz, and sometimes we had a couple of MC’s that would come free style over our beats. Besides that I never played in a really structured band until Adam and I got together, but that library experiment definitely broadened my horizon.

Paul Bork: The first instrument I played was the euphonium, in the 5th grade. But I really didn’t enjoy it that much, but then my brother started playing guitar and that is what influenced me to try it. So I started with guitar and transitioned to bass. I never had a real band that I actually performed in, so this is the first time I’ve done something really real.

Reviewsic: What was the process of recording the album like for you guys?

Adam Rowings: It was very humbling, because we tracked during a five day session and three days in had to switch engineers because the guy we had been working with, Neil Strauch had to go next door to work on something Andrew Bird. So he went from recording with us, first time recording an album, to Andrew Bird…then back to us. So poor Neil…haha it was just a good learning experience, because working with real professionals who pushed us and kept us from just saying “yeah that was good enough” Then we did our mixing at Uptown Recording with Dan Stock, and that was really good.

Tom Owens: Our album art came from our friend Jill, who was a regular at my bar and does professional photography. I had the mastered copy of the cd and was playing it at the bar, and she really liked it, so she asked what we were going to do for album art, and at the time we didn’t really know. Then she asked if we would mind if she took some photos for us. She came back with three really great photos that she took over in Pilsen, and just really bailed us out, because we didn’t know what we were going to do haha But yeah, she’s great, very talented.

Reviewsic: What about the name? Where does that come from?

Adam Rowings: Well, we had been out drinking, pretty drunk actually. And we were looking for Paul, who was our driver that night, but we some how lost him and his phone was dead. The ran into a homeless guy, who started bugging us for change and he thought Chris was named Moses…just started yelling it.

Chris Adamescu: And then he asked where I was from and I said Cleveland, and suddenly he was just going on about Moses Cleveland, and there it was.

Reviewsic: If you were to do a tribute album to a specific artist, who would it be?
Tom Owens: Well the first tape I ever got was M.C. Hammer, and I just feel like it’d be cool to do a rock some rock versions of M.C.

Chris Adamescu: The first tape I bought was Robert Palmer, and he was a bad ass, I could redo some of his songs. There was also a band my Dad went to High School with, from Mansfield, Ohio that had this song ’Little Bit of Soul’, that went gold. I learned it as a kid and to this day I still play it all the time. I would love to do a cover of that.

Paul Bork: AC/DC Powerage, that whole album, could be cool.

Adam Rowings: Once Tom had a great idea to do that Blondie song, “One Way or Another”. Its a great song when she does it, but if we had a guy, just real deep, almost metal voice, it could easily become the creepiest song ever. “One way, or another, I’m gonna find you, I’m gonna get you, get you, get you…” haha,

Reviewsic: What are the last few bands you’ve listened to?

Chris Adamescu: That’s not a fair question, because I’ve been listening to a lot of U2 lately, and I don’t exactly LOVE U2, but that’s how its going to look now.

Reviewsic: Nope, you made your bed, now you have to lie in it. How about the rest of you?

Adam Rowings: I’ve been listening to Muse, Silversun Pickups has a sweet unplugged set they did, so I’ve been listening to that and Blitzen Trapper.

Tom Owens: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell- my 12 year-old niece got me it, and because it’s been winter, Bob Dylan’s Self-Portrait has been on a lot.

Paul Bork: The new Muse album-gearing up to see them soon. And I’ve started getting into Porcupine Tree again.

Reviewsic: If you could book a tour with any current band, who would it be?

Adam Rowings: The Hold Steady, because they put on a really great show and I would love to play with them. It’d be a fun environment-their fans get really drunk at shows, but in the good way, not the sad ‘I want to kill myself kind of way”.

Paul Bork: I would say Jane’s addiction.

Tom Owens: I would like to play with Arcade Fire.

Chris Adamescu: I have no idea. But maybe if I could bring Oasis back together…

Adam Rowings: Oh, and naturally we’ve talked Led Zeppelin into doing a tour with us. They didn’t want to do it, but we’ve convinced them otherwise. They’ll be opening for us Summer of 2010. - Reviewsic

"Classic rock comes from a place of honesty"

Moses Cleveland resonates that signature sound of Chicago authenticity. These Cleveland boys quickly sunk their feet hard into this great rock city and brought to their Chicago hometown, the album The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue. Experimenting with a mix of combinations, they play a variety of sounds, it all depends on what you like. Their rhythmic and steady acoustic sound, echoes beautifully against Adam Rowings melancholy voice in “Unmodest Marilyn.” Written by Adam, this song is ” about a point in time and the fallout afterwards. Those moments of rejection, but without resentment.” Their work is featured in a variety of places, from video game soundtracks to the Spring 2010 Nautica Ads. This track is one of their softer tunes, but its just one of the random sounds Moses Cleveland brings from their inner soul. - The Running Man: Evolving the Dream

"Music Review: Moses Cleveland – The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue"

I have to preface this by saying I don’t usually write music reviews, so if I sound particularly out of my element, that’s why. My friend Adam Rowings is a musician living in Chicago and he asked me to take a look at his latest album and let him know what I thought via this blog. Eager to hear what my buddy had been working on for the past year or so, I of course agreed. Granted this was a few months ago, so I fully expect Rowings to be shocked that I ever came through and then furious that I don’t know a damn thing about music. That being said, I’ll be happy to share my honest thoughts about the album right here, right now.

Rowings and I have both been long-time fans of The Hold Steady, Craig Finn’s lyrically brilliant master-class on bar room rock. You can check out a few of my favorite jams from their latest album here and here. It’s clear that Rowings is patently influenced by Finn’s lyrics and The Hold Steady’s ability to deliver thoughtful yet honest music in a hard rock package. That being said, Moses Cleveland is hardly a direct knock-off of the Hold Steady (although if you’re going to ape somebody, Craig Finn is not a bad choice) and it definitely has some really killer jams that are worthy of note based solely on their own merit. Never having written a review like this before, I’m just going to go down the track list song by song, as that makes the most sense to me:

1. The Story of Mack – This song has a nice little surfer rock lick to it, but the occasionally nasally parts of the vocals are a little grating. Once the song kicks into overdrive it’s a fun little jam, but I’m just not a fan of hearing my friend in a higher register when I know he can really belt it out in a lower growl. Rowings is a loud motherfucker when he wants to be, and I like hearing the power behind his voice resonating from his chest rather than his nasal cavity. Leave the whiny screams for Billy Corgan and keep it low, brother.

2. Torch – This is where the album really starts for me. Rowings is doing speak-singing in his normal register and the lick at the beginning leads into a really cool vocal refrain. Everything about this jam works for me, and you can really envision people singing along in concert (or at the bars, as the case may be). The guitar part is a sultry mix of blues and bluegrass and the vocals hang right in between both styles perfectly without ever seeming forced or too stylized. While echo and reverb can sometimes be a cheap effect used to make a song seem more layered than it actually is, here the deep sound quality slides right into place. Nice.

3. The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue – The refrain is what really does it for me on this song. “We all get drunk, do drugs and sing songs,” is repeated over and over during the course of this number. This is where Craig Finn-spiration really comes into play. These lyrics could easily be trite or contrived if they were delivered by a less talented songwriter, but here they work in perfect synthesis with the hard rock pumping along in the background. Rather than serving as a promotional tool for face-value hedonism, the lyrics are more of a confession shouted to the Almighty from a human being set in his ways. Rowings is almost taunting an unseen deity with his words, asking God to strike him down if He actually does exist. There is pride in Rowings’ confession, in spite of the connotation it carries. I like that the lyrics really give voice to a character with a unique perspective, and that it’s not just an act or affected voice put on by Rowings. It’s an extension of his life experiences and speculations anthropomorphized by what he’s singing about. The phrasing of this track’s title (as well as the album title) is a little forced and admittedly awkward, but this song is so passionate that it entirely makes up for that. I love that there’s a part at the end where a bunch of voices come into play, joining the refrain and giving it a real barroom feel. That’s where it’s at, man. I definitely have to say that this is my favorite track on the album. When Rowings is belting it out from his chest, his vocals are at their absolute best. The passion of the music overrides everything else and makes this one a song to remember.

4. The Circus – Lyrics referencing “clever people” and “party people” definitely feel inspired by Craig Finn, but the tone of the music is distinct from Hold Steady and much of the other music on the album. Lyrical repetition and a less interesting guitar part draw unwanted comparisons to Stroke 9, especially when the licks and lyrics are so familiar by the end of the five minute song. Rowings’ vocals really hit a good spot by the four-minute mark, but by that point the song is mostly over. I would have preferred less repetition and musical breaks, as they give the listener unfavorable amounts of time to dissect what is already a moderately scanty concept.

5. Two Step Timmy’s Traveling Blues – This song reminds me of Doolittle era Pixies. That is in absolutely no way a bad thing. The lyrics are super catchy and the guitar part is all hells of strong. I don’t think the Pixies comparison is necessarily intentional. It’s more a reflection of just how quality the song is. Here Rowings is again making himself distinct from his inspirations, proving that he is a talent capable of delivering a unique sound. The music drops out at the end perfectly, leaving listeners with no choice but to immediately blast to this jam again like they’re craving a nicotine fix. Runner-Up for best song on the album. Fast, short and deliberate. Great song.

6. Terrorize – A little bit of Rage and a little bit of Smashing Pumpkins musically. The vocals are great, but the fact that this song isn’t quite as catchy as the one that precedes it, added to the fact that they are both very similar in tone does both jams a disservice by drawing all-too-clear comparisons. In the wake of Two Step Timmy, Terrorize just can’t compete. I would put this one earlier in the album, and maybe open as well as close with the intense rocking that ends the track. It’s not super shocking to hear an intense jam session at the end of a hardcore number (and any song called Terrorize damn well better have some hardcore influence), so making it more of a constant could up the song’s runtime as well as make it distinct and memorable.

7. Unmodest Marilyn – Here Moses Cleveland slows it down to a sexy little ballad. There’s as much influence from Hold Steady’s First Night as there is from Rowings’ love life. I like the fact that Moses Cleveland is ready to prove to their audience that they are versatile and capable of keeping the energy up even when the tempo is reined in a little. I can easily imagine this as part of a movie soundtrack, in the same way I can imagine that every car commercial in the business will be chomping at the bit to buy Two Step Timmy as soon as they hear it. Certain songs have an ability to create a specific mood immediately, and this is one of them.

8. So Say You – Starts out as a ballad then loses a little bit of its oomph as it transitions into weird sitar-style hallucinogen rock. The lyrics and vocals are strong until the transition, and then the weird background noises call into question what sort of vibe Moses Cleveland wants to leave the audience with. Rowings sounds particularly badass screaming “Hit Rock Bottom!” at the end of the song, but I really wish we didn’t have to sit through so much weird filler noise to get to that point. Some bands need cool audio tricks to reel in an audience, but Moses Cleveland isn’t one of them. The music and lyrics are great at standing alone and apart from other bands on the scene. As soon as the music swells back into its original tone, that point is hit home hard.

Well, that’s the full album. Overall I really liked it and was very impressed with what Rowings put together in spite of a few minor glitches along the way. Hopefully he’s not too mad at me for being nitpicky and will still let me come to his kickass New Year’s Party when I’m in Chicago next week. One thing’s for certain, I damn well better get to hear Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue live while I’m there! - The Unstoppable Collossus


EP "The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue" released October 24, 2009



With sonic guitar sounds, driving drums, unforgettable bass lines and pop smart lyrics, Moses Cleveland buoys themselves on the great lake of Midwestern Rock and Roll. They’re not out to change the world with their music or chase the latest pop-rock craze. However, this has hardly gotten in the way of their success.

Fronted by Adam Rowings, the quartet features Tom Owen, Chris Adamescu and Paul Bork. Moses Cleveland released their debut album in October 2009 under the independent label Spaghetti Feed Records. Their debut album, “The Corner of Uncool and Care Avenue,” is unabashedly honest and stylistically varied.

They’ve been heard across Chicago’s most famous clubs from the Double Door, the Empty Bottle, and many more… Their music has been featured in an international ad campaign, in a best-selling video game, and an independent film.

The band is already working on their second album.
Keep an eye out for what’s to come!