Cambrian Explosion - The Moon EP
Following up with the twin sister to 2013’s The Sun EP, self described cosmic sorcerers have managed to call down The Moon, as a more than worthy successor. This is a record that is definitely waxing gibbous. Clocking in at around 35 minutes of music, this is the pound for pound equivalent of most albums.
It begins with an invocation to the moon goddess herself. “Selene” starts with brooding air raid sirens and a surprisingly mechanical hum that reminds me a little of a cross between the intro to Nick Cave’s "Tupelo" and "Welcome to the Machine". Something is being born out of nothing, and it sounds ominous. A jangling guitar lick presages the riff to "Looming Eye", which picks it up and gives it a psychedelic sway. The eye of the night here is cold and unrelenting, casting synth sweeps across a barren landscape. But there seems to be something hopeful in the melody of the song - that little lift at the end of the phrase.
I cannot quite fathom the lyrics of "Mugen = Mugen", Google translate fails me spectacularly. But there seems to be something there about dream images, mirage reflections on the water, an infinity of ghosts and phantoms. The music begins with a driving lysergic wah guitar riff that rockets you forward until you drift in low earth orbit, maybe gliding amongst those phantoms. Slowly you are caught back up in the tendrils of jangle guitar for a reprise of the riff.
"Innocuous Creatures" begins with a modal drone that launched into an eastern sounding riff. The song seems to be about nightmare creatures, and the onset of lunacy, so it appropriate that the lyrics summon the biggest sabbath-y doom riff on the record. The song spreads out, never settling over it’s length, mutable as a dream, with feak-out synth sounds to add to the atmosphere.
"Crust of Theia" comes in as folky-proggy respite. Theia is mother to Selene, but also to the Sun, so the night wanes with the accession of the dawn. The melody here is processional, and when the crunch comes in it is a welcome recasting of the theme. We end on a chorus of strange lunar toads and radar pings, no doubt hidden on the dark side..
There is a lot going on here. The instrumentation is deep with multiple layers and textures rising and falling with novel melody lines. The Moon is heavy without relying on fuzz and distortion- it’s mostly in the arrangements. Vocals are more atmospheric than anything, heavily reverbed and take some fathoming out. The fact that you can get this on bandcamp at your own price is crazy. These guys must be moon-addled. Throw some of that lunar cheddar their way now - they still have the rest of the solar system to address.
Nori Lockhart - guitar, vocals
Ben Dorothy - drums, vocals
Derrin Twiford - keyboards, percussion
Archie Heald - bass