- by Sean Hewson Release Date:2017-03-24 Label: Transgressive Records
The Moonlandingz are, to me, the most exciting band around at the moment. I've seen the gigs and bought the EPs. They are a fine blend of people who know how to make good records and people who know how to make exciting records. Those people are Eccentronic Research Council’s Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer, and Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski of the Fat White Family. They recorded Interplanetary Class Classics with Sean Lennon at his studio in New York. Also on the record are Randy Jones (the Cowboy from The Village People), Rebecca Taylor from Slow Club, drummer Ross Orton, bassist Mairead O’Connor, Phil Oakey and Yoko Ono.
Interplanetary Class Classics starts with the thrusting outrage that is Vessels - a Glam Rock beat with farty keyboards and sax. Then it all shifts up another gear with the arrival of the two singles. First is Sweet Saturn Mine starts with harpsichord and sci-fi effects before Lias's evil vocal starts - 'Matter, matter, matter....'. The chorus is one of The Moonlandingz specialities - really basic, but so catchy. And it's the same with Black Hanz, a brilliant, Electro-Glam monster of a track that steals from Thriller and was my favourite single of 2016. IDS is Sigue Sigue Sputnik covering Gene Clark's Silver Raven as Lias sings '40,000 years of Job Club'.
The Strangle of Anna (a duet with Rebecca Taylor) has the bare-faced cheek to be The Jesus & Mary Chain playing Heartbreaker by Dionne Warwick and still be brilliant. Theme From Valhalla Dale is a short instrumental interlude in waltz time. The Rabies Are Back ('Ladies, you know the rabies are back') is more singalong Electro-Glam with a dark sense of mischief. Neuf Du Pape has another stunning chorus from Lias - 'Is that blood or Neuf du Pape?'. I usually hate humour in music but you absolutely cannot deny his work on this album.
Next up is the obscenely lurching Glory Hole and, as you would expect, it's super-sleazy Glam featuring Randy Jones where 'Every man's got a glory hole'. Just about beating Glory Hole in the cool title stakes is Lufthansa Man which is a combination of 80s Synth-Pop and Bachelor Pad Space Age Music from the 60s. The album is shut down by the epic, and grammatically problematic, This Cities Undone on which Yoko Ono shouts against a frantic, funky beat that whips you into a frenzy like Goat at their most pagan.
This album has to be a 10 because it's absolutely vital that The Moonlandingz exist. They are a band that is both stupid and smart, there are young men in make-up with bread bangles, middle-aged men, both elderly and young ladies, enormous choruses, tremendous confidence and outrageous audacity. It's got everything you could ask for and a lot of things you would never even think or dare to ask for. It's a State of the Nation address that is also an absolute ton of fun. It is dark and sticky, but unashamed of being dark and sticky.