Given Cousin Fungus’ past as a Phish cover band one might expect “Thoughts of a Moth” to be a rehash of Burlington’s best. But aside from the obvious. Phish-like joy Cousin Fungus takes in just playing together, the bands debut CD sounds more like a tribute to 70’s bands such as Traffic, The Doobie Brothers, Allmans and Jimmy Buffet.
If you can get past the earnest earthiness of the lyrics (sometimes, also Phish and Grateful Dead style, the band turns to outside writers, including one named Gummy) and all their references to field mice, Ulysses and simple pleasures, song such as, The “Beggar at the Manor” and “Mad E. Mac is loose” quickly become hummable anthems that stick in the head.
Matching the strong melodies is Cousin Fungus’ protean gift for ensemble playing. Though the throwback vibe is strong, Cousin Fungus makes a strong argument for the return of the jam band. They’ve updated the collective trip for the next generation of, dare we say it, Fungusheads. — Isaac Guzman