If you’re looking for lunacy, you could do worse than to rest awhile in the strange shade cast by The Moonlandingz first EP. A collaboration between Maxine Peake, of ‘generally reasonable BBC drama’ fame, and her band The Eccentronic Research Council, with Lias and Saul of the Fat White Family, it’s 12 minutes of ear-stiffening oddity. Creeping from arid plains devoid of much except teeth-numbing electronic spasms, to lush groves of mellow melody, it’s more a soft-core cruise through the addled imaginations of this wacked out posse of pals, than a ‘statement piece’. It would be to miss the point to carve this one up and dissect it in its shivering, hallucinogenic parts. Instead it’s probably best to give up, grab a hold of the tentacles and be dragged along, stung and fondled in equal measure, without an analysis of the exact sensations felt. ‘Lay your Head Down on the Road’ is the most immediately appealing of the Ep’s fondlings. After a few plays, like a long slog through the country recalled from the safety of a pub garden, the record’s fourth cut, ‘Psyche Ersatz’, takes on some significance but, following the ep’s finest few minutes, it comes on like something of a stomping. Generally, what impresses most about The Moonlandingz’ first record is its coherence. Sure, some of the tracks come on like the hooves and some like the udder. Sure, there are moments when you long for the squelching space oddities of the record’s first half. Sure, it’s not all fun and games but, against expectations, it doesn’t smack of half-arsed collaborative uneasiness. There’s never the sense that either of the two main parties have been herded to the wings to await their few moments at front-centre. It’s a solid four out of five all round.
The Moonlandingz EP is available now through Without Consent Records here.