Album Review Moon Hooligan by Moon Hooligan (2021) (MUMDAD Records)
The coastal town of Folkestone in the UK, is not renowned for being a hotbed of music. You will definitely never hear famous British musical locales referred to as Manchester, London, Sheffield, Liverpool, Brighton, Glasgow and err Folkestone. Nope, Folkestone does fish and ships and it is pleasant enough, which is more than enough.
The above changes now. For Moon Hooligan, may not obvious famous townsfolk predecessors, but they do have the potential to become that role model themselves.
Initially, the immediate connection to their obvious future critical acclaim is that subtle sense of ‘understated accomplished’ that befits all great acts. A sense of being comfortable in their own musical, subtle psyche-laden skin, if you will.
This sense of easeful is seen in three distinct aesthetics within a this release. Initially, the album is swathed with moments of huge jangle rock energy in the grumbling dynamism of Superstar, the fuzz drenched attitude of Jazz Club Raffle and the totally left field, late 80’s british style garage-punk / indie rock, of Trouser Enforcement, which comes at you like some ill-advised love-tryst between Sham 69 and Kaiser Chiefs, as a gloriously deranged outlier.
The tempo drops in tracks such as album stand out Innocent Next To You and Jesus. These adopt the mid 2000’s singer-songwriter sense of jangly laconic, that Baxter Dury casually offered in the world without ever really caring if they accepted. Slightly deadpan in disinterested vocal delivery, such tracks introduce melodic glimpses of slacker-pop inferences and dolewave melancholy.
Such a feeling of introspection and mournful is developed more in Dead Weight, O! It’s Happening Again, Gardens of Fruit and English Garden. All Elliott Smith tempos, lo-fi rock altruisms and a tendency to be too jangly pretty for the subject matter, these tracks represent the best of the album.
Folkestone may continue to be a nice place that people who have heard of Folkestone will know. Moon Hooligan are destined to be bigger than that though !!!