REVIEW: Moon Rock - "Eclipse Of The Mood"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Eclipse of the MoodThe sophomore album from the band Moon Rock is slated for release in December, 2002 featuring 2 remixes by B! Machine of tracks from their first release, Power To The People(1). For those who haven't heard this group as of yet, they are an amalgamation of electronic music with synthpop, EBM, electro, new wave, techno and gothic influences.

The Deed Is Done is a nod to the new wave era where space exploration via lyrical content was de rigueur as heralded by bands such as A Flock of Seagulls. It is a catchy track that would mix well with some of Diva Destruction(2)'s work rather effortlessly. See A Lot echoes with some of the elements of big beat and high energy pounding bass lines. It has a decidedly Euro dance flair to it, enhanced by Jemma's cool and sedate vocals. Time To Play opens with the morose nod that is quite familiar in the goth underground. Background blips sound as though one is traveling on a lone vessel. The pulsations pick up to give the DJ's a moment to catch the beat and then percolates with an ass-shaking groove.

I Think It's Over - Once again, we are treated to an intro that is reminiscent of the goth underground, only this time it is more bombastic and ornate and similar to that heard on the latest VNV Nation CD. This is a mellow groove tune which incorporates a bittersweet melody. It is not unthinkable to actually hear this song on a game soundtrack at some point in the future. Jemma simply tweaks the emotion from every bit of this song that if it were ever played live, it is not inconceivable that show attendees would have their lighters lit overhead while she sang. As far as ballads go, this one has "HIT" written all over it.

Let It Flow takes us from the somber reverie from the last track to once again permeate with an electro Depeche Mode meets Erasure groove. The BPM's are not all that high on this track, yet it works as a crossover track that could be mixed quite perfectly with any number of songs during a DJ's set list. Everybody Everywhere marries the electro, techno/EBM and industrial together. Dave Baggot's vocals make the track come alive in a very understated way, that one can only hope he is featured more in the future. Real Cool Party utilizes many of the up to date styles that are prominent in the electro underground today. Elliot sings in the lower registers of his vocals on this track, which really complements the song quite well.

Golden Days clearly nods to the techno days gone by. Once again Jemma simply brings an understated track to life. The vocals are wrung through a few electronic tweakings that simply manage to pierce the psyche. Tonight, I Am Safe features renowned DJ Damian Plague on vocals, which are quite decent in a Depeche Mode sort of way. Already Gone is another remix feature from B! Machine. There is a decidedly more Yazoo/Yaz flavor to this track from the Only You era. It's not the fastest track, but it was made quite listenable once again because of the gentle cooing of Jemma.

Moon Rock delivers a new CD with a decidedly more retro nod to the forbearers of the early electro/new wave era. Had this CD been around back in the 80's, it probably would have made a hefty mark on the MTV generation. Like Yaz/Yazoo, there are tracks that are more comfortable with home playing, with a few tracks that are geared for club rotation. Elements of high percolation manage to entice during some of the intros, but seemingly become lost along the way at times. Lyrically, there was little strength beyond simply having a good time, so one won't find any revelatory or profound lyrics to cogitate in the midnight hour. Quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with just letting one's hair down once in a while and there is no mandate that insists that all music should be made to be profound.

Special kudos is given to vocalist, Jemma, who manages to take the lyrics and sentiments and work them for all they are worth, particularly in the ballad I Think It's Over. This album would most likely appeal to those in their teens and early twenties who like a bit of the retro flavor mixed in with some of the modern elements of today's electronic underground. Overall, it is a "fun" album for those who need to take things a bit less seriously in their lives.

(1) Reviewed in Legends #115.
(2) Diva Destruction's Passion Price was reviewed in Legends #105.

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