PARKAIMOON features, from left, drummer Dave Goode, bassist Damon Tucker, singer Kari Melissa, guitarist Tony Howell and guitarist-pianist Kenny Hale.
Photo credit: MIKE PRADO
There remains modern music that can't easily be categorized, defying well-established labels such as adult album alternative, hardcore, power-pop, funk or folk-rock.
So when getting an earful of the stunning new release from Parkaimoon, "The Sum of Our Experience," discerning listeners might want to throw away labels and note that it's simply a great modern rock album.
Released on Parkaimoon's own Platonic Music label on Nov. 11, 2008, "The Sum of Our Experience" is a wonderful 11-track disc that boasts artful and intelligent song craft enhanced by the troupe's strong musical instincts and dazzling performances.
The Orange County quintet spent about 18 months recording the finished tracks with engineer Jerry Adamowicz at Adamos Recording in Westminster. The album was produced by Kenny Hale, who plays guitar and piano in Parkaimoon.
"We wanted to do a big production record with multiple layers and orchestration," explained guitarist Tony Howell, noting Parkaimoon set out to get the big sound captured by some of their favorite acts, notably Pink Floyd and U2.
Added bassist Damon Tucker: ""Kenny, Tony and I sat down and watched the DVDs about the 'Making of the Joshua Tree' and the 'The Dark Side of the Moon.' If you are going to emulate someone else, you want it to stand the test of time. We rerecorded four songs from our last album ('Empty Vessel,' 'Disappearing Act,' 'Tunnel Vision,' 'Bury Me Deep') and did better versions of those."
Indeed, "The Sum of Our Experience" captures the grandeur of the band's heroes, while singer Kari Melissa, drummer Dave Goode and aforementioned Howell, Tucker and Hale bring their own distinctive talents to the mix to create something positioned between the far-flung sounds of Paramore, U2, Garbage and Evanescence.
"I can listen to it and enjoy it. I used to not be able to listen to my own stuff. I'm happy it (the new album) has the same sound quality as the other bands I like," Tucker said.
In addition to the band's album of all-original material, fans can download a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" or hear the reworked classic on Parkaimoon's MySpace page.
"We do a lot of cover gigs and we wanted to do a remake while in the studio," Tucker said. "I figured; why not throw some fresh bait out there? A lot of bands I came to like were based on covers they did, like Primus with Pink Floyd's 'Have a Cigar' and the Chili Peppers with Stevie Wonder's 'Higher Ground.'"
Most of the lyrics featured on "The Sum of Our Experience" were penned by Tucker, although Howell and Stefani Roscoe wrote those on "Bury Me Deep."
"We have influences, but they may or may not come out on our records," Howell said.
Tucker had a slightly different take on the group's influences: ""We listen to current stuff and listen to old stuff. We don't sound like anything else out there."
Many of the newer songs on "The Sum of Our Experience" reflect Tucker's more recent experiences and view of life, notably the album's uplifting title track.
"That song says life's short, appreciate every moment you have."
Parkaimoon will perform at King Neptune's, 17115 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach, 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on Dec. 5.
Parkaimoon will perform at Mahe South, 24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, at 8 p.m. Dec. 13, and at Mahe, 1400 Pacific Coast Highway, Seal Beach, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. The band will also perform at the Marine Room, 214 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, at 9 p.m. on Dec. 19 and 20.
Information: http://www.parkaimoon.com/ or www.myspace.com/parkaimoon.