The Moons return with new album Mindwaves, high on dreams of psychadelica, a passionate nod to the 60’s and a sprinkling of the mod. And why wouldn’t they when they have strong support from the modfather himself, Mr Paul Weller. Lending a hand on some of their previous tracks, he has always been an influence to them, and lead man Andy Crofts has never shied away from the fact that Weller’s music has been a big part of his life. However, with two of the recent band members James Bagshaw and Tom warmslet splintering off to form their own band, Temples, have The Moons managed to stay on track with their new record?
The album kicks in with intro instrumental Luna, providing us with a 1 and a half minute space opera of the psychedelic, similar to early Pink Floyd (albeit less drugs…probably). This leads into track society, providing us with a running social commentary on the scary side of big city life. It’s in the vein of noughties band, Hard Fi, but with a 60s edge. Speaking loud and begging you to listen, it makes you pay attention with its swagger and charm.
When The Moons are being themselves on the record is when they are at their best. Time’s Not Forever is nicely paced, throughout reminding the listener to seize the moment and reach high, whereas vertigo features a lovely guitar melody with an original feeling and fresh chorus.
Originality however, is where the problem lies with the album; it too often feels like they’re trying to be someone else. Bodysnatchers sounds like a mix of Boys will be Boys by the Ordinary Boys, mixed with Muse’s Uprising, and Fever unfortunately reminds the listener of The Black Keys. The song also has the extremely unlucky coincidence of having the same title as the recent Black keys track, Fever. T Rex, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian – these are just a few of the influences that can be heard throughout. Influences are good for a band, but when they come through too strong in a record, it can damage the music, and it hampers The Moons own creativity.
When they step back from everything and write something like album closer On The Moon however, it really shines through. The gentle tones of the piano gradually build into something that’s beautiful and quaint, fulfilling and natural, harrowing and haunting. More of their songs should be like this, as it’s where their talent and originality lies.
Mindwaves is caught in a web of influences which it can’t seem to fully free itself from. When they do it is a sight to behold, but too often it relies on the sounds of others, and this unfortunately dampens the impact of the record. Believe in yourself boys, and you’ll be stronger for it.