Review : Poor Moon - Illusion EP
PitchforkThis band, a Seattle-based quartet mainly on loan from Fleet Foxes and Crystal Skulls, takes its name from a Canned Heat song that frets rather sweetly about humankind decimating the moon. The song isn't preoccupied with any particular threat, just a general sense that it's a matter of time before we make a real mess out of that place, too. "I hope I see you in the sky/ At night when I get old/ I hope you'll look about the same/ As when I was a boy," Alan Wilson muses in his high, strange warble. It's an oddly affecting tribute to a big dumb gray orb that could probably use a bit of sympathy-- I mean, of all the gravitational pulls of all planets in all the solar systems, it got sucked into ours?
A certain expectation of depth and sensitivity persists for a band naming itself after a song that effectively mines an emotional connection with a piece of rock floating hundreds of thousands of miles outside our personal atmospheres, but Poor Moon's five-song debut EP falls short. Illusion is a slight effort by any standard, even the most fair: the bar set by the prior work of the band members themselves. Brothers Peter and Ian Murray comprise the tweaky, brainy, almost-entirely under-the-radar Seattle-based act the Christmas Cards, who have released one LP, 2009's quietly solid Happy Birthday; multi-instrumentalist Casey Wescott has played in both Fleet Foxes and Crystal Skulls, spinning out woodsy, harmonic folk in one and rehabbing 1970s AM gold in the other, joined in both of those acts by Christian Wargo, Poor Moon's lead singer/guitarist and primary songwriter....full text
WhatcultureYou’d be forgiven for thinking that side projects were just something Jack White invented to trick people into thinking he was producing new music every couple of years, when in reality he’s just been singing the same song over and over again. However, it turns out other bands can create splinter groups too! The latest being Fleet Foxes, already a side project of My Morning Jacket (Ok, they’re not, but they sound like they are).
Poor Moon are Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott from the Foxes, plus Ian and Pete Murray from The Christmas Cards, and their Illusion EP is released on 26th March in advance of a full length record later in the year. It’s…it’s fine.
I should have mentioned actually that there’s another member of this band, and it is he who seems to have the loudest voice when it comes to creative control. That member is reverb, because this album has shit loads of it. Every song is absolutely drowning in echoes, as if the songs were recorded in aircraft hangars, and then had loads of reverb put on them in the post. The problem with this is that in the more arranged songs the levels are all off. Where the acoustic guitar should be mellifluous and haunting in Anyplace, it is lost in a choir of monotonic voices and a shrill electric guitar. Same goes for the title track, where the tone of the guitar is second fiddle to a wall of sprawling sound. It’s a real shame....full text
Music-news.Poor Moon is a side project from Fleet Foxes’ Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott. If you loved Helplessness Blues, the most recent Fleet Foxes full-length, you oughta really dig this Poor Moon debut. It is more of the same, yet by no means more of the same old thing.
In addition to Wargo and Wescott, the group is rounded out by Ian and Peter Murray, both from the group The Christmas Cards. If you’re scratching your head over where a name like Poor Moon might have come from, scratch no more because front man and primary songwriter Wargo derived it from his favorite Canned Heat song. That’s kind of ironic because Poor Moon sounds nothing like Canned Heat.
The standout track from this top-to-bottom-excellent release is “People in Her Mind. It’s sung with a touch of a Ray Davies like vocal, with a pop-rock melodic hook that just won’t quit. The guitar riff is clean and lovely. The beat bops along like one of those ‘60s British Invasion songs that get stuck in your head that you cannot – no, will not! – expel. The song’s lyric is about a mystery girl. (If you ask most guys, all girls are mysteries. But that’s an entirely different matter)....full text
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