Monday, 29 July 2013

#140: Moones - Better Than Ice Cream (EP review)

In this line of work, you come across hundreds of bands, some of those are destined to remain in the back-rooms of dive bars nationwide while others are certain to catapult themselves from the dusty and downtrodden confines of such venues on to greener pastures. One band destined to find their place in a much grander setting are London trio Moones. Made up of three lads with existing ties to the musical world, most notably in the form of Laurent Bernard, founder of Gallows, and Tariq Kahn, brother of Bat For Lashes, their music is a blend of traditional guitar-fuelled indie with smatterings of synth loops and brit-pop energy.

Releasing their d├ębut EP last month, Better than Ice Cream establishes the band's aesthetic fantastically. Over the course of four tracks and 16 minutes, irresistible pop hooks are fused with an undercurrent of darkness that entwines itself around more optimistic elements, providing a sharper more aggressive edge to what would otherwise be your usual sugary indie-pop fare. This is perhaps most evident in both EP opener 'Universal Remote Control' and closer 'Roll A Penny' in which the standard synth-pop is offset and underpinned by a brooding and and claustrophobic darkness.

Opting to include to the tracks in the order they have gives one the impression that Better than Ice Cream is a well-rounded a thought out EP; tracks 2 and 3, ('Better Energy' and 'Cut and Paste' respectively) form the radio-friendly, accessible centre of the record whilst tracks 1 and 4 form a darker, more weathered exterior that seemingly needs cracking open before the rich and emphatic centre spills out, indeed 'Cut and Paste' in particular makes use of some great percussion production in a manner evocative of Bastille, an impression that continues in to the vocals and even the synth track, this is a song completely written for open air stages and not the confines of a pub's back-room.

There is, without a doubt, something about Moones that will appeal to anyone, no matter what their musical persuasion. There's elements of the long-forgotten nu-metal being brought to the table in the form of 'Universal Remote Control' especially in the chorus, which brings to mind early Lostprophets records or even Fear Factory whilst 'Better Energy' will appeal completely to fans of Reverend and the Makers. It's this diversity that will allow the band to stand firm when some many of their contemporaries fall by the wayside. The musical credibility exhibited by the trio is second to none, and while my own personal tastes pull me towards the band's more downbeat tracks, there's certainly nothing to diminish the more uplifting tracks featured, so much so that I would be surprised if Moones weren't gracing the pages of mainstream music press by Christmas.


This review was originally written for Ears On. Click here to check them out!