Fall releases (at least the ones reviewed on this blog) are often gloomy and introspective, much like the process of beautiful green leaves turning colours and then dying. But other times, a band will come along to inject some much-needed energy. Enter The Angry Moon.
With a touch of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a whole lot of catchy instrumentals, Suffering Psyche is an EP to dance to while the season gets colder. The duo of Stella Panacci on vocals and Jordon Zadorozny on instruments and vocals is the kind of slick combination that makes electro-pop acts shine.
Expect no subtlety at the beginning and you’ll be off to a great start. Big synthesizers and the crash of drums begin the EP with “Late Summer Song,” a well-chosen first single for the band. With a groove reminiscent of Coronado, Panacci goes heavy on her vocals, almost becoming a shriek but not quite there amid the thumping bass, slick guitar and swirling synths.
It gets even louder on the next song, “The Fear.” Starting this time without synths but instead some heavy, fuzzy guitars and Panacci singing “I’m beginning to warm up,” the melody is ominous, but eventually a synth-backed, New Wave-y melody takes its place. Here Panacci does her best Karen O and the result is another strong track.
Comparatively, “Live Like We Never Die” takes things a little easier but it’s no less compelling. Some light percussive thumping and piano, not synths, opens up this one. Once Panacci moves past the first verse, the chorus brings in some great background vocals for some call and response.
More synthy fare comes in the form of close “Walking Backwards,” along with some sweet bass accompaniment. This is The Angry Moon at its most electronic, and it shows that if the band wants to go more glitchy, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
While “This Is My Dream” is also pretty synth-y, it stands out as the one “slow jam” of the collection. Everything is just a little slower, giving the song a bit of a soulful feel, and Panacci’s delivery changes just a little to draw out some of the words. Giving the instruments room to breathe allows Zadorozny ‘s arrangements to shine even more.
The Angry Moon certainly fits the “dynamic duo” bill and it’s more than likely that this band will get dance floors moving.
Top Track: “Live Like We Never Die”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)