Charlie & the Moonhearts
(2008, Telephone Explosion)
RIYL = The Von Bondies, Smith Westerns, Women
Alright, this isn’t a 2009 release, but I wrote for the same reason last year and never posted it, so I thought I’d sneak it in: The band name "Moonhearts" kinda sounds like the name of a pack horses that Rainbow Bright and her cohorts would ride; however, in context of Charlie, the apparent leader of this troupe, Moonhearts are actually hardened, gritty rock purveyors of the extremely dirty variety. And heaven knows, boys like dirt, not ponies. Thunderbeast, now that is a name that more aptly conveys the mood of this album. And, literally, this album is a blissful garage rock beast. I really have no qualms with the surge of straight forward retro garage rockers that have been emerging in the latter portion of this decade. Girls, The Fresh and Onlys, The Yolks: all of them are solid and all have a good batch of hook worthy tunes. All of them are also just a little bit stale (though, in the wonderful saltine cracker kind of way that allows you to eat more and more regardless). Charlie & the Moonhearts, on the other hand, somehow avoid this stale-crackerness. The unfortunate thing about this is I can’t quite put my finger on why. I’m not sure why Charlie & the Moonhearts is striving to rank on my decade end list while the rest of these groups don’t stand an inkling of a chance. I don’t know exactly why Thunderbeast is so much more enjoyable and authentic feeling. The guitars are better, the songs more distinctive, the urgency more palatable, the tunes more groovy. I guess it just comes down to my feeling that Charlie & the Moonhearts are a better band. Better bands just make better music.
Charlie and the Moonhearts (now just "Moonhearts") on MySpace