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coverpic flag Sweden - Full Moon 109 - 08/19/05

Moonbabies
War On Sound
Moonbabies Music/Border / Quartermain Records / SellOut! Music

Can you imagine the combination of Pink Floyd anno 1967, Midnight Oil, Kate Bush and Jim O'Rourke? Well, neither can I, but the Moonbabies cuold be the possible answer to this fix. The Swedish twosome Ola Frick (vocals, mulitiple instruments) and Carina Johansson (vocals, piano, keyboards) from Malmö started their ambitious Moonbabies duo in 1996. Their debut album June and Nova came in 2000, but it was last year's The Orange Billboard that did it. Hailed at home in Sweden, as well as overseas (the record was released in USA and Japan). Their moody, dreamy pop guided by synths and keyboards seemed to be the thing.

War On Sound was meant to be a single, a foretaste from their forthcoming album. Then it ended up as an 8 song (plus one - live, noisy song) mini album with recordings from a 5 year span. The title track is an instant hit, a catchy charmer made for dance floors. Not lame dance floors. Cool ones. The instrumental "A Perfefect Passenger" works as a bridge or a passage into the "Ghost of Love", another catchy popper. A bit on the slower, dronier side nearer their My Bloody Valentines (without guitars) preferences.

Two covers are included - Midnight Oil's "Stars of Warburton" and Pink Floyd's classic "Arnold Layne". The former works very fine, sounding like it's a Moonbabies original. The latter, weeeeeell, I'm not so sure. You don't mess with a classic like that. Even though they've tried hard and really done their best. It somewhat feels a bit cheesy. But not as bad as I first feared. Also included is the title track (an edit version?) from last year's album, which is a really pleasing, strolling, laidback song.

I'm not sure to find all the comparisons made, such as Beatles (Sgt Pepper era), Kate Bush, Jim O'Rourke, Grandaddy. Maybe it's in their mind. Like they pick up inspiration and transform it into their own mixture. What I can say is that "Don't Shoot the Ranger" is close to the Velvet Underground (the guitar chords smell and spell "Sweet Jane"). But the Moonbabies do sound fresh and vital and is definitely a band to get entertained by.

Copyright © 2005 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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