Formed in Northampton in 2008 by singer/songwriter Andy Crofts, The Moons have enjoyed considerable praise and peer support, with Paul Weller being the most obvious example. The mod legend contributed to earlier tracks and offered his studio for the recording of debut album Life On Earth in 2010; Crofts has also been a member of Weller’s own band. Yet their commercial success has been mediocre, with ex-members James Bagshaw and Tom Walmsley having already eclipsed their old band with their debut offering Sun Structures back in February of this year since leaving to form much heralded psych revivalists Temples.
The band has very much always been Crofts’ baby, with all but drumming covered by the talented front man on early releases. These days the outfit consist of three others to supplement Crofts, with Ben Gordelier on drums, Ben Curtis on bass and Chris Watson on guitar. Over the years they’ve built up a strong following, after support slots for Ocean Colour Scene and Beady Eye raised their profile; yet the chart success continues to elude them, with Mindwaves now becoming the third Moons long player following 2012’s follow-up to Life On Earth – Fables Of History.
With such an eclectic mixture of sounds the band are difficult to pigeonhole, with 60s psychedelic elements, ’70s glam rock and a heavier, more traditional rock sound all appearing at various stages throughout their career and the new album is no different. Album opener Luna Intro opens to warped spacey psychedelic synths amidst tribal drumming and vocal cries before the brilliant riff of Society enters the fray. It’s probably overplayed somewhat throughout the length of the track but when you hit upon such a monster of a riff why not milk it? The ’60s pop vocals, screeching electric guitar, rapid tambourine and strings all add up to provide the biggest highlight of the album.
But that doesn’t mean to say the remainder of the album suffers as a consequence. The glam rock stomp of Body Snatchers is intriguing, eerie Addams Family organ similar to Double Vision Love from Fables Of History leading the track through another enjoyable tribal drum pattern. Fever continues the glam rock feel as Crofts cries “I’ve got a fever in my brain” over stabs of organ before blasts of trumpet lead to the songs conclusion. Vertigo morphs from spacey blips and bleeps, bursts of fuzzy electric guitar and more gothic organ chords to quieter verse sections where vocals are thrust to the forefront whilst All In My Mind slows things down a little as one of Crofts’ main influences reveals itself as its memorable chorus nods towards The Beatles.
Single Heart And Soul switches influences, this time sounding like an impressive David Bowie ’70s stomp despite clichéd lyrics of “the devil makes work for idle hands”. You Can’t Slow Me Down features more gothic synth as the song lives up to its title, ticking along with a faster beat, vocals this time sounding a little like Tommy Scott from Space. Sometimes is a piano led ballad with more swirling spacey synth sounds and organ backing another track that recalls The Beatles whilst Time’s Not Forever revives the spooky, graveyard vibe of Body Snatchers. Rage And Romance borrows a riff from Primal Scream amongst another tribal drum pattern for a memorable moment before six minute album closer On The Moon walks a slow, psychedelic path of reflection.
The Moons have clearly done enough – once again – to deserve wider recognition than they are likely to achieve. Lightning remarkably struck twice when the second album failed to generate commercial success – surely it couldn’t happen a third time? It’s about time people saw the light.