The Moons - Life on Earth
Fronted by Paul Weller’s keyboard player Andy Crofts, and also featuring the undisputed guitar and vocal talents of The Rakes’ Chris Ketley, The Moons are quite literally aiming for the stars with their sugar-coated debut album Life on Earth.
Crofts’ creation has cited a diverse array of influences, from the glorious XTC and The Specials, to groups like The Coral and The Bees. This medley of artists and eras has contributed to the band’s modernised 60s feel, with the album sounding a bit like what would’ve happened if the Beach Boys had gone to see The Clash.
The ska influence on The Moons becomes particularly clear when listening to the track ‘Nightmare Day,’ where “ahh ahhhs” reminiscent of Fun Boy Three’s ‘The Lunatics ...’ are to be found, complete with the classic Two-Tone beat, but unfortunately without the snake-charmer flute. It is this constant ska swipe of guitar that creates a sense of continuity in the album with all of the songs nicely flowing from one to the other, which is just as well as ten out of the twelve tracks have fairly similar introductions. Although this does set the atmosphere for the song to follow, there comes a point when you want some sort of diversity. Regrettably, this variation comes at the end when it is all a little bit too late.
Never fear though, as the jolted rhythms of The Coral can also strongly be heard throughout the album, particularly in the early tracks, such as ‘Chinese Whispers’ and ‘Let it Go’. The gentle tinkling of acoustic guitars found in tracks such as ‘How Long’ and ‘Wondering’ are nice too, tinkles that Paul Weller himself would be very proud of.
Life on Earth does exactly what it says on the CD case; it’s not exactly out of this world, but it is nicely within it. Although there are no real stand-out tracks, it is nevertheless an album that provides happy little tunes that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to play in front of your mother. You could, if you do so wish, give this album to your Grandma, your father, your brother, or your illegitimate child, and you’d be safe in the knowledge that they’d all be pretty happy.