Sound: I became obsessed with this album a few months ago, as a precursor to an ongoing Phish obsession. The song "Blue Jeans Pizza" was the one that really sucked me in: to this day the opening bass line (bum bum bum...) gives me chills. Al Schnier and Rob Derhak maintain an amazing synergy throughout the whole album, and every song stands out as its own masterpiece. Add the amazingly fresh drumming of Vinnie Amico, and Chuck Garvey and Jim Loughlin's extraordinary guitar abilities, and you have a near perfect album. The band has done something absolutely amazing here. This album will haunt you for a good while. It's an amazingly tasteful and groovy piece of work. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are hardly the main focus of this album, as most of your attention will be turned to the amazing musical orgasm that is the music. The singers do not sing as though they have something to say, but rather let their singing serve as another instrument, adding to the musical orgasm. Half of the time the words are indistinguishable anyway, but it doesn't matter. Garvey, Derhak, and Schnier's voices complement each other perfectly. Their singing styles may catch you off guard, as they are rather unconventional, but it works. For example: the falsetto in 'Blue Jeans Pizza' and the verse parts in 'The Pit'. // 9
Overall Impression: Unfortunately, I was not as drawn to moe.'s other albums as much as this album, I'm not really sure why. Perhaps I think that the songs on their other albums don't really stand out independent of each other, like they do on "The Conch" On other albums, I think a lot of the songs kinda sound the same, and they focus too much on a 'heavier' sound on their other albums. (I'm trying my best to describe my feelings here, but it's not coming out too well.)
If I had enough time, I would break down every song on this album and describe why each one is so fantastic and original. The thing about "The Conch" is that it never loses your attention: each song is catchy and original. It's comparable to some of Phish's greats like "A Picture of Nectar" and "Junta", though the music isn't nearly as complex as Phish music.
I recommend you buy this album if you get the chance. I guarantee that you will listen to it again and again. // 9