Monday 14 November 2022

MOAN - S/T (Album Review)

Date Released: November 25th 2022. Record Label: AudioSport Records. Formats: DD/Vinyl

MOAN - S/T: Tracklisting

Burning Man

Nothing In Nature

Learn To Bleed

Desert Island Drugs


Marcel - Guitar

Andre - Bass

Reinee - Drums

Jurgen - Vocals


Doom/Stoner Metallers MOAN are from the Netherlands and they previously released an EP back in 2015 I believe. Singers and Drummers have come and gone since then until the lineup MOAN had today. Their music is fused by Fuzzy Stoner Grooves and Psychedelic Doom Soundscapes that sees the band using influences such as KYUSS, Black Sabbath, SLEEP and BORIS on this album.

Their new self-titled release contains four tracks spread across thirty two minutes of Fuzz based Psych Doom/Stoner Metal with small traces of Drone Rock, Blues Rock and Sludge Rock. There's a cool improvisation spirit going on with the album which is perhaps more noticeable on the final two tracks of the album but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Opening song Burning Man is a Desert Rock/Stoner Rock mix with MOAN playing elements of Blues Rock and Psych Rock with a gloomy presence. The song does allow MOAN to start playing with a loose and free attitude that has an slight Seventies Psych Rock spirit. Burning Man has brief glimpses of MOAN playing a heavier style of music for the last few seconds which is quite interesting to hear. The vocals are calm and measured with MOAN never fully committing themselves to the gloomier side of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Second song Nothing In Nature is the standout track on the record with MOAN expanding themselves even further into Amplifier Worship territory. MOAN plays a more classic Alt Rock/Metal sound that has echoes of Lou Reed delivered within the multi-layered vocals and all consuming bleak lyrical content  contained within the song. The music is one of more Droned Out sensibilities but firmly remains within the template of Doom/Stoner Metal. Despite the bleak surroundings of the song, MOAN does offer moments of uplifting passages told within the structure of the song. Highly melodic sounds with areas of swirling Psychedelic Rock capture a more grown-up style of WEEDIAN grooves that will delight and confuse in equal measure. 

Third song Learn To Bleed sees MOAN return to the legendary Californian Desert/Stoner Rock scene for another one of the record's standout tracks. A drone based and bass heavy WEEDIAN journey with a wonderful melody of distorted FUZZY instrumental jams with raw-sounding production values. The vocals offer bleak romanticism but still retain a hopeful vibe throughout the song. The instrumental work is sublime with MOAN remaining true to their creative vision for this album. Perhaps more improvised compared to the previous tracks on the album but MOAN still delivers the goods on all fronts.

Desert Island Drugs sees MOAN bringing more mature themes into the mix with a dark sense of humour appearing within the track. This track feels like KYUSS jamming with SUNN 0))) and Electric Wizard with the LOUD REVERB and  Amplifier Sounds that power this track along to its exciting conclusion. Long droned out Sludgy Rock guitars sees the band add strands of Psych Rock for a song that sounds conventional by Stoner Rock/Metal standards but one that's refreshingly different at the same time. MOAN add different GUITAR PEDALS and TRIPPY EFFECTS to the album for a more well-rounded and fucked up experience.

The album is boosted by great production values that allows MOAN to have a superb uncompromising uniquely raw sound to call their own. This all ends up being a wonderfully diverse and blissfully heavy release.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Plug Music Agency for the promo.

MOAN self titled album will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via AudioSport Records from November 25th 2022.