Castleface are putting out this new one from the mercurial Jack Name. At first glance Weird Moons sounds a little darker, or colder, than previously. Fans of label-boss John Dwyer’s music, or John Maus should take note. On CD and vinyl and coming down the highway in a trashy 80s thriller on a busted VHS tape.
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Jack Name’s homemade pop ain’t pretty, and it ain’t quiet either; they aren't keping things down so as not to upset the neighbours, who have probably all but given up on stopping their DIY pals from doing it themselves. Following on from the equally chaotic and gleefully obnoxious ‘Light Show’, Name offers up ‘Weird Moon’, another record of chainsaw guitar, squealing synths that sound as MIDI as the Pokemon Red soundtrack, and half-propulsive drums that occasionally get replaced with some primitive John Maus-styled programmed beats. It is certifiable nonsense.
In terms of how it ends up sounding, uh -- odd pop music? ‘Weird Moons’ does have a couple of melodic hooks here and there, enough to keep it playing, and there are a couple of moments where a throughline of influence can be seen. When everything’s colliding on “Under the Weird Moon”, Name recalls David Bowie in the more hectic moments of ‘Low’. When the vocals brood, they sounds like they'd be better suited to a synth-heavy new wave band; “Running After Ganymede” marries the brooding dissatisfactions of Total Control with the kitschy sounds of Ariel Pink. John Maus is a good point of reference, too, but where Maus’ makes works of great solitude and personal meditation, this one sounds like it’s supposed to take its listener by the throat.
It’s impressive how intricately put together this record is, but it’s also a very disconfigured work: the vocals is completely obscured for the majority of the record, processed in such a way that none of his lyrics peak out -- the voice is buried beneath a rubble of constant beats, synths and guitars. It’s a mess, but that’s what Jack Name want ‘Weird Moons’ wants to be: gloriously messy. Which is fine, but I don’t want to houseshare with them.
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