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The Aliens - “Luna” (2008) review


The Aliens - Luna (2008) 

Rising from the ashes of the Beta Band, a band eternally being discovered, rediscovered and then forgotten again, only to swing back when you expected to hear from them least. Here, The Aliens seem to sonically define themselves as something between a Twin Peaks soundtrack and that of an offhanded meeting over Quaaludes between Brian Wilson and Syd Barrett, where a fluid intoxicating viscous melodic psychic brew ebbs and flows … not forward nor back, but ever present, with each song existing in the moment of its listen, displaying a swaying hallucinatory quality, often foggy and nearly forgotten, while at other times far too real, as if the song is standing before you from out of nowhere.

Luna is not a joyride through the universe, it sounds more to have been delivered by tired worn-out weary space travelers who’ve spent too much time with mouths open in wonder, haunted by the memories of countless nebulas filled coloured stars and planets boasting twin moons rising on opposing horizons at the same time, struggling to give voice to all they’ve witnessed, longing for nothing more than a comfortable over-stuffed chair from which to tell their stories as their feet become accustomed once again to gravity and the impressive nothingness that this world has to offer.

Without feeling that I’m being critical, The Aliens could have put an editor to good use, because they often venture in too many directions as once, consider the number “Bobby’s Song,” where they push the notions of musical noodling into a whole new realm, cleverly [?], yes, harmonically [?], of course, imaginatively [?], without question, but over all, coming across like trying to capture the rays of sun that give sunshine pop its psychedelic buoyancy. Creating an epic of this nature takes sincere psychic balls, and even if one has those balls, it would seem better to spaciously lay out one’s arrangements in a manner devoid of any missteps, as those missteps will bear witness to a product that has not been thought out or considered fully, because the brilliant moments that make this album unavoidable are so good that I find myself wanting take the band by the hand saying, “Cross this out, add this in, fade here, and roll on with luster there.” But The Aliens didn’t ask me, so all I can say is that I find Luna to be an intoxicating bit of wanderlust that I find unavoidable and worthy of exploration and re-exploration.

The Aliens, with their brilliant spacial harmonies and sonic arrangements will be immersed as The Beta Band were, to be endlessly discovered, forgotten and rediscovered for years to come, worthy of a place in the galaxy of stars, yet sadly, relegated to earthbound grains of sand.

- Jenell Kesler
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