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Moaning - Moaning (Album Review)

Monday, 05 March 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

In the promo video for The Same, Moaning frontman Sean Solomon wears a playful denim-cotton cap. It’s the type of cap that one might find in an American Apparel or Urban Outfitters: ‘90s retro with a dash of the university stoner about it. It’s sartorially direct and jaunty, yet it belies a certain foggy introversion. In many ways, that cap epitomises Moaning’s eponymous debut album.

It’s a record that combines shoegaze and post-punk to likeable, if not quite compelling, effect. Its sound is heavy and wide-reaching, with this L.A. three-piece making great play of giant effects and warehouse-sized reverb. But, while tracks like Artificial and For Now display deft and ready craft, the melodies are often weak and forgettable.

That said, the album has some fine moments. Don’t Go is a griefy ridge racer that feels hurried in the best possible sense. “I hate myself for holding on,” murmurs Solomon amid washy space and itchy brooding.

Elsewhere, the closer, Somewhere in There, is a frantic dirge that escalates into raucous riffage and dirty, angular discord, landing somewhere between Echo and the Bunnymen and Weezer.

‘Moaning’ is a decent debut, but a bit of a frustrating one at the same time. There is a certain post-ironic immodesty to the band that has the potential to be galling; a parochialism often present in scenesters that halts musical development through the tyranny of in-jokes and self reference.

To put it in more musical terms, they have arrived at an album that sounds like a watered-down version of the Jesus & Mary Chain’s ‘Darklands’, and there remains a suspicion that they haven't actually listened to it.

Moaning Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue June 12 2018 - LONDON Lexington
Thu June 14 2018 - GLASGOW Broadcast
Fri June 15 2018 - BRISTOL Rough Trade
Sun June 17 2018 - MARGATE Tom Thumb Theatre

Click here to compare & buy Moaning Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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