Moonbabies War on Sound

[Parasol; 2005]

Styles: psychedelic indie pop enhanced with quirky electronics
Others: Sparklehorse, My Bloody Valentine, Mercury Rev, Beulah

Creating warm baths of pop sound for those who like their pop sound in warm bath form, Moonbabies offer up a "mini-album" as a teaser for their promised full-length coming in the fall. While as of late I've found myself rather disenchanted with mini-album's close cousin EP, even this cynical old miser has to admit that War on Sound serves as a perfect example of how such a thing can be done well. The focus of this mini is obviously the opening title track, which bursts forth as a perfectly chiseled pop confection complete with sing-along chorus to lodge its infectious melodic spike firmly in the back of your brain. After that instant high, the rest of the album functions more as a comedown, which is not to say it's at all unpleasant. While the four additional previously unreleased originals don't shine as brightly as "War on Sound," they all have their charms, especially the soothing synth walls of "Ghost of Love." In addition, there are two adventurous and nicely reinterpreted covers -- Midnight Oil's "Stars of Warburton" and Pink Floyd's "Arnold Layne" -- that are actually so good that one is inspired to go back to the originals just to hear if they can live up to the new versions (worry not, "Arnold Layne" does, "Stars of Warburton" is another story though...). While all of this adds up to a near perfect EP line-up, the kicker is the inclusion of a secret hidden track following the closing instrumental. This short live track gives proof that Moonbabies can put out live like they can on record and rounds out this tantalizing interim release from a very talented pop duo.

1. War on Sound (edit)
2. A Perfect Passenger
3. Ghost of Love
4. Stars of Warburton
5. Arnold Layne
6. The Orange Billboard (first take)
7. A Minor Earthquake
8. Don't Shoot the Ranger