Battle Lines

Bob Moses Battle Lines Review for Northern Transmissions
Battle Lines

Our Rating

8.5/10

Though Bob Moses are ultimately a dance production pair, their music often feels like it comes from rock first. Their fierce record glistens with amazing hooks and steady beats that really captivate listeners. Even in their most derivative moments, the duo create music that will appeal to all your musical sensibilities.

After all the heavenly harmonies, “Heaven Only Knows” sees Bob Moses opening their synth-pop into something immense and dense. As they play between the dance energy and distinct rock builds, there’s something powerfully abrasive to their sound. “Battle Lines” has a distinct tight pop sound with an epic tone to its main hooks. This sense of theatrics and intensely infectious pop makes for music that you’ll be singing back on your first listen. With a heavy beat to “Back Down” the producing pair really focus in on the rhythmic weight of their creations for something distinctly bouncy. This said, they really expand on the shadowy world of their record for a song that is equally moving and heady.

As guitars glisten and vocals fly on “Eye For An Eye” Bob Moses sink into a catchy drive with little new to say. The duo make a point of letting the world of their record speak for itself time and again, while creating moments of haunting brilliance like the guitars of “The Only Thing We Know.” While this can make the larger picture of their writing feel simple, it’s hard to say that their music doesn’t grab you pretty quickly. This shines through a lot more in the bridges and breaks of songs like “Nothing But You” however which sees the group exploring their sound while shooting their writing straight. Although it’s not the most exciting listen, the duo do keep their record tight.

There’s a distinctly cinematic quality to “Enough To Believe” with its soft pianos and shockingly sparse arrangements. With a light dance touch to centre the track, Bob Moses make a track that catches you and then makes you start questioning where it’s going. “Listen To Me” starts deceptively predictably in its dance hooks before it continuously expands its tones until it’s a completely different beast. Their sounds collide with great sadness and beauty on “Selling Me Sympathy” for a song that cries out like Nine Inch Nails trying to be bright.

Off-kilter beats let loose on “Don’t Hold Back” as every bit of the song’s rhythms start to find a swing and fall out of time excitingly. While it definitely slow-burns this release, it is satisfying and intoxicating to hit choruses once it hits its stride. Bob Moses return to a much more serious feeling for “Fallen From Your Arms” where their sense of mystifying production makes a track that feels like a score shaped around vocals.

Words by Owen Maxwell