MOANING – ” Moaning “

Posted: January 1, 2019 in MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

On their self-titled debut album, Moaning captured the frenetic energy and uncertainty of 2018 across its 10 tracks. It was a big year for the Los Angeles post-punk trio as they released their first LP on Sub Pop and played live with The Breeders, Ought, Preoccupations, Mothers, Lala Lala and others. The album opens with the punchy “Don’t Go,” which captures the fragility of a relationship and the fear of depending on something that you know won’t last forever (“This might work out somehow / Might as well see / Cause it’s right, right now / Even if it’s temporary”). They master the coupling of rumbling, feverish guitars with starkly-delivered deadpan vocals, mercurial synths and tumultuous drums—sounding composed one second and effectively disheveled the next. Their volatile guitars mirror the distressed, anxious tone of their lyrics—“Tired” and “Useless” follow the end of a relationship with the latter laced with hints of regret and the rehashing of memories to find out why it soured (“There’s nothing we can do / You had to go / If I loved you / I guess you’ll never know”). Frontman Sean Solomon is at his best on “Artificial”—with an imitation of someone rather pompous (“Pardon me / Everything’s so easy”) and a vigorously delivered, reality check of a chorus.

Moaning dive into their self-titled debut LP headfirst with dissonant lo-fi guitar stabs on “Don’t Go.” It’s a prophetic and noisy shit-kicker of an opening single that foreshadows the LA trio’s furious brand of thrashy post-punk. Singer Sean Solomon’s deep, melancholic voice anchors this sharply-felt album in all its emotional phases – from angry and abrasive, to knotty and experimental, to fiery and passionate. “Tired” represents the band at their most sweetly melodic, with sleek new wave synths matching pensive lyrics in which Solomon expresses feelings of emptiness and exhaustion: “It’s all gone/ It caught fire/ It’s all wrong/ And I’m so tired.”

Dark, numbing bass lines and stormy shoegaze aesthetics contribute to a sense of mounting panic and frustration on tracks like “Artificial” and “The Same.” Meanwhile, “For Now” shows off Moaning’s knack for arpeggio-soaked riffs and rich, towering choruses. The band proudly wears its Joy Division influences on its sleeve while also expanding on that well-worn sound with thrilling layers of reverb and gut-punching moments of angst and self-reflection. Moaning is a striking debut balancing ice-cold moods and cavernous sonics, and it positions the band alongside other modern greats of the post-punk genre.

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