Music » Livewire

The Moaners

With Bob's Country Bunker and Rambler 454. Friday, February 11, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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Before the recent release of the Moaners' debut album Dark Snack, Mississippi native Melissa Swingle was best known as the lead singer and guitarist of Trailer Bride. And while that band isn't quite dead and buried, it's definitely on life support.

"I was kind of in a pattern where I started to feel like I was repeating myself," says Swingle, "and I wanted a total change. Something more rocking. More upbeat. Heavier."

Which makes perfect sense.

"Also, I was kind of tired of that name," she adds. "Trailer Bride. Gee whiz. What was I thinking, you know?"

For both the Moaners and Trailer Bride, Swingle deployed a Southern drawl so slurry and thick it conjured images of Courtney Love on downers. So what's going to be different about her new band?

"I'm a big blues fan," she says, "but I get tired of the blues after a while, because you know what's coming next. So for the Moaners, my goal is to maybe create a new kind of more rocking blues, where you don't know what's coming next. It'll have that blues feeling but won't necessarily adhere to the straight blues construction."

Of course, there's a world of new bands with bright ideas and unapologetic names. So what to do to gain attention? For starters, copies of Dark Snack pre-ordered through the band's label, Yep Roc, were delivered not only with autographs, but kisses as well.

"It's kind of a silly idea, but we had a lot of fun doing it," Swingle says. "We just sat around in front of the TV, kissing CDs and laughing. I wish I could think of something really fun to say that was on TV, but we were mainly concentrating on the kissing."

The band, a partnership between Swingle and drummer Laura King, split the puckering chores. Each CD contains two autographs, but just one set of lips. Can Swingle tell the difference?

"Laura's are more of an open-mouthed kiss," she says. "She was real excited."

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