The new album from Moaning, called simply Moaning and out tomorrow via Sub Pop, is so elemental that it seems sort of odd that there aren't more bands like this. But, the truth is, the music of Moaning is something special. These cats -- Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie -- make tunes that seem both primal and brainy, and that's a rare blend to encounter when listening to modern indie-pop.
Opener "Don't Go" roars with the sort of charging post-punk electricity that makes a listener recall stuff on Unknown Pleasures, while other stand-outs here -- like the rippling "Artificial", or the pulsing "Tired" -- burn with a sort of studied intensity that suggests not only an undeniable rapport between these 3 players, but also a rather clear sense of purpose here. Little on Moaning flags in intensity, and a listener is never confronted with a sense that the band have run out of ideas, with more lyrical numbers like "Does This Work For You" and "The Same" hinting at a near-jazzy sense of harmonic convergence among the 3 members of this band. The album closes with 2 of the most forceful numbers on this record: the slightly mellow "Misheard", all Brotherhood hooks and Nevermind guitar-riffs jostling for attention, and "Somewhere in There", with its Swervedriver-like sense of rhythmic attack.
Moaning by Moaning is largely purely-realized post-punk of the sort that will appeal to guys who grew up listening to Slint and Tortoise, as well as folks who appreciate the time-changes of later Fugazi numbers. This is propulsive goodness, and I'm eager to hear even more from Moaning in the future.
Moaning by Moaning is out tomorrow via Sub Pop.
More details on Moaning via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Michael Schmelling]