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The Moons - Life on Earth

The Moons, Life on Earth

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

HIGH hopes surround The Moons, a super-group of sorts, who are trying to hark back to the golden days of British songwriting.

Fronted by Paul Weller’s keyboard player Andy Crofts and featuring Chris Ketley, of the recently disbanded Rakes, The Moons are all about breathing new life into the classic English pop sound. Hence, songs take the traditional sound of the ’60s and then weave in elements of The Jam, The Specials and more contemporary acts such as Ocean Colour Scene, The Coral and The Bees.

The results, for a debut offering, are hopeful as Life on Earth yields forth some great moments.

The songs are mostly autobiographical and tackle timeless themes of love – lost and won – and the observations Crofts has made during his life on the road, mostly with Weller in tow.

It’s little surprising that Weller’s influence hangs over much of the LP, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hell, he even allowed them to record the album in his home studio and crops up on piano duties on album highlight Wondering.

But there’s plenty more moments when The Moons emerge as an exciting new act in their own right. Album closer, for instance, opens with a cheeky sound-check to Bowie’s Life on Mars before unfolding into a psychedelia-laced guitar anthem that ends things on a high. Crofts husky vocal style is very Weller-esque, but also has enough quality to stand out on its own.

While the music, too, is confident in its own ability, whilst happy to pay homage to the sounds that influenced it.

Hence, foot-stomping album opener Don’t Go Changin’ opens things in suitably robust fashion, with the sort of anthem The Jam might like to have produced, and is followed by a personal favourite, Chinese Whispers, which liberally sprinkles piano chords with guitar riffs and delivers a fantastic chorus that’s made for singing along with.

There’s a lovely slice of soul-pop on Torn Between Two, which underpins the lyrics with a Hammond Organ sound more befitting a Doors record, while How Long is a mid-tempo offering that shows they’re capable of delivering a telling ballad or two.

The aforementioned Wondering is another of the album’s picks, as is the shimmering indie-pop of Everyday Heroes.

If there’s a criticism, however, is that this debut does hit the occasional lull, when the sound becomes a little formulaic and too straight-jacketed by the sound of their peers. Tracks like Let It Go and The Ragman initially promise more than they deliver, and sound like fillers. And there’s probably one too many of them!

But when they get it right, The Moons are a fine act who look set to shine for some time.

Download picks: Chinese Whispers, Torn Between Two, How Long, Wondering, Last Night on Earth

Track listing:

  1. Don’t Go Changin’
  2. Chinese Whispers
  3. Let It Go
  4. Torn Between The Two
  5. Nightmare Day
  6. Promise Not To Tell
  7. How Long
  8. Ragman, The
  9. Everyday Heroes
  10. Lost Soul
  11. Wondering – Moons & Paul Weller
  12. Last Night On Earth