Monster Movie: To the Moon (Clairecords, 2004)

by Jason

Monster Movie To The MoonYes folks, rock is alive and actually innovative. With the advent of To the Moon, UK’s Monster Movie graces the world of music with their second full-length album. Eleven tracks of bliss, melody, depth, and beauty. This album ranges from 80’s techno-pop influences to modern shoegazer elements. If you are unfamiliar with Monster Movie, the band is a duo consisting of Christian Savill (formerly of Slowdive) and Sean Hewson. This disc is 11 tracks long and it is consistently great throughout. Once again, Clairecords has come up with another great disc to add to their catalog. Well, enough of the general view of the disc. Descriptions of songs await.

The album opens with a great dirtied up pop song called “Sweet Lemonade”. Right away, the listener gets a sense of the caliber of what is coming on this disc. The vocals are fantastic, the song structure strong, and the melody catchy. “Lemonade” fades out to reveal “Dream About You.” This is one of my favorite tracks on the disc. It has falsetto vox over slow, pillows of keyboards that change into distorted guitar, keyboard, and an 80’s feel that’s fantastic. This is a mid-tempo tune that reminds me of a cross between Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Echo and the Bunnymen, and A-Ha. This is not to say that the song sounds like these bands, but theses comparisons are the only way I can seem to describe the great mesh of sounds and style. “Beautiful Arctic Star” is a hypnotic song with backbeat, xylophone, piano and vocals deeper in the mix. “From a Distance” is an instrumental at medium pace. This piece is beautiful and serene with acoustic guitar, keys and this great wall of sound. The wall of sound is almost grating, almost too much, but it doesn’t quite break the peacefulness of the tune. It’s a perfect blend of soundscape and noise.

“Don’t Know Why” is a slower tune that has a melody similar to “Beautiful Arctic Star.” This is a stripped down song with vocals, acoustic, drums and some noises here and there. Again, the descriptor is “serene”. “Colder Days” has a different feeling from the rest of the disc. It is very alt-country with a twang in the acoustic guitar and a light brush used on the drum kit. Although I am not a fan of alt-country, this song actually suits me. There are sprinkles of xylophone and keyboards in the mix to help balance the country feel of the tune. “1950ad” is actually my favorite song on the disc and is the anchor. It is a fast-paced song with a fantastic melody. There is great piano in the mix with a classic 50’s pop feel.

All in all, this disc is eclectic and amazing. The songs really hang together even with the preponderance of influences. Savill and Hewson have made a follow-up disc worthy to remain in music lovers’ players for a long, long time.

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