Moonface - Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped

by Rich Morris Rating:5 Release Date:2011-08-08

Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown member Spencer Krug here takes on a new role as Moonface. This quirkily named debut EP is also pretty descriptive: every song here was written and performed on organ. The long, repetitive pieces which result are a step away from what Krug has done before. The technology used is clearly deliberately very basic and the production is minimalist for the most part, but there's a melodrama in the hissing beats and organ parps which, coupled with Krug's quivering vocals, instantly puts one in mind of the early 80s and synth-heavy groups such as Soft Cell, Yazoo and Simple Minds, as well as Patrick Cowley's seminal 70s side-project Catholic (particularly on the doomy 'Shit-Hawk in the Snow). It's unlikely this is by chance, since the 80s even get a name-check on closing track 'Loose Heart = Loose Plan', a song which is positively crying out for a dry ice machine and some jerky robot dance moves.

The main impediments to really enjoying this EP are Krug's overly-mannered vocals, which veer a little too close to Brandon Flowers in full pomp, and the drawn-out, dirgey nature of most of the songs. First track 'Return to the Violence of the Ocean Floor' somehow manages to get more pretty the longer it goes on, but elsewhere, especially on 'Loose Heart = Loose Plan' it's hard to work out why Krug didn't end the song several minutes back. Overall, however, this is an interesting release, even if you suspect the songs were more fun to compose than they are to listen to. Krug might want to exercise a little more artistic restraint on the next Moonface release.

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