CD Release - They get so Emo-tional

From the road

Visit Moros Eros' MySpace page (www.myspace.com/moroseros) and you'll find links to sundry indie-rock favorites: the Flaming Lips, Wolf Parade, TV on the Radio and noxiously saucy Atlantans, the Press. "I listen to Tom Waits and jazz and Sonic Youth," says Zach Tipton, Moros Eros' lead singer and guitarist.

It's a poor indication of how Moros Eros actually sounds. Signed to Victory Records last spring, the group's debut album I Saw the Devil Last Night and Now the Sun Shines Bright is firmly within that label's reputation (burnished by Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein and other mtvU favorites) as a home for emo-styled hard rock and punk pop.

"Our music is fun. At least it's fun for us to play. It's very riffy," Tipton says from Bakersfield, Calif., the latest date in a monthlong tour. If Flaming Lips and co. exert any influence, it's as bands that can fit catchy pop songs into arrangements that are weird and esoteric. Moros Eros tries to do the same thing. "We can't all be Tom Waits, so I just try to make the most unique music I can possibly make," Tipton says. He focuses his energy on lyrics that question life and death, and fate and personal choice. "Don't you know that heaven's unreachable/When you let your own hand take you down," he sings on "Today is the Day." "No I don't want to go/Down underground."

"Relationships, I have no problems with that," Tipton says in reference to a topic often mined by emo bands. "I just try to write about which affects me the most, which is religion and death and philosophical mumbo jumbo."

Based in Acworth, Tipton formed the band with drummer Bobby Theberge and keyboardist Chris Firebaugh. (Bassist Deejay Schulz joined shortly thereafter). Originally called In Vitro, the quartet gigged at venues such as the Masquerade and Swayze's, and linked with Victory Records on the strength of its EP I'm Dying but I Still Don't See Anything. When the group discovered a punk band in France named In Vitro, it decided to change its name to Moros Eros.

In Greek mythology, "Moros" is the god of night and "Eros" is the god of love. "It sounds kinda metal," Tipton says of the name. "It fits us because all of our stuff has some sort of double meaning."