JOHN MOEN IS primarily known as a first-rate drummer, having served time with the likes of Elliott Smith, the Minus 5, Stephen Malkmus, and currently, the Decemberists. But Moen also spent the latter 1990s playing guitar and singing with his own band, the Maroons. And on his first solo project, PERHAPST (In Music We Trust), Moen refines his knack for college-radio guitar pop to an impressive level. On “Maryanne,” he pours on the “na-na-nas” like sugar on cornflakes, and he channels doomed romantics like Matthew Sweet and Lloyd Cole on the yearning country ditty, “Aren’t You Glowing.” In fact, the songs here are compelling enough that one hopes Moen ventures forth from behind his drum kit more often.
This article appeared in the July 2008 issue of Portland Monthly.