24 Nov 2014

Album Reviews: Moonsicles "Creeper"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

I get all sorts of things turning up in the post for review, but I think I can safely say that this is the first with a cover adorned with a hand painted, amputee unicorn. Needless to say my curiosity was piqued. And this was before I investigated further and discovered that Moonsicles had eschewed the standard-practice album release show in favour of a full play through of the album with accompanying yoga session.

The press release describes a band assembled from a long lineage of adventurous and experimental Austin outfits (the Weird Weeds, Dana Falconberry, Some Say Leland, McMercy Family Band, Pillow Queens, Woven Bones, Ichi Ni San Shi, Suspirians, No Mas Bodas ), brought together by a common, exploratory bond. That being the case, it's impressive just how melodic and accessible this rather lovely album is.

I've rarely heard a band choose a more appropriate moniker than Moonsicles. Shela Scoville's keyboards provide a chilly, kosmische wash which evokes lonesome lunar winds, with the rhythm section of Carolyn Cunningham and Lindsey Verrill settling into a glacially slow, processional pace which suggests an alien sense of gravity. Acting as the perfect foil is Aaron Russell, who's chiming guitar parts play a key role in establishing a sense of warmth for the listener to connect with - a human element in a mysterious, alien environment.

There's a definite post-rock flavor permeating things, but with a refreshing lack of the formulaic, crescendo-building, loud / quiet / loud schtick. Instead, I'm reminded more of the desolate, deliberate desert-scapes of Earth's "The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull", albeit with Scoville's vintage synths making this sound considerably less Earth-bound.


Limited edition of 100 CDs in handpainted sleeves available here.

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