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Moonwagon - The Rule Of Three CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.61 | 18 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This third studio album of Moonwagon scribes a completely new kind of entry to their journey's log, their fresh approach on their cosmic conquest of sounds possibly dividing the reception among their fans. The personnel have reduced to trio due departure of their keyboard player, affecting to sound textures by reducing synthesizer presence and similarly giving more space to the bass player Janne Ylikorpi.

When looking to photographs of the band's recent gigs and reading the instrument details from the album booklet, I can't escape associations to Rush's late 70's and early 80's massive stacks of guitars, synthesizers and bass pedals. Like the albums from Rush-era referred focused to "post-apocalyptic" themes, there is also certain dystopic feeling on the whole album, a hint of seriousness when compared to their earlier record's abstract sonic rejoicing. This third album with three musicians seems to resonate with me to mankind's apocalyptic steps culminating to Trinity event, the scenario of final destruction presented most dramatically on the album covers and booklet. I mailed to Joni and asked about this scene, which appeared to be a deserted house with larger space for several activities, now being smashed to pieces by local kids. Later the building got burned to the ground, and somehow this also associates with my understanding of desolation and hardships culminating here in Finland outside the few city centrums with workplaces and universities.

This feeling is also strengthened by the opening verse "The ending is just the beginning", giving hope to the issue as like Petri Walli once wrote, "something new borns when something old dies". I certainly feel the band has reincarnated itself to a much better direction with this album, which I believe was a big enterprise to complete on basis of booklet notes about recordings and mastering. There seems to be more focus also to pleasantly pulsing rhythmic grooves and quite accessible melodic compositions. The psychedelic rock riffs and descending motives enhance the sinister flavor of the recording's infinite patterns, but the music does not grow on sadistic levels. Instead there seems to be some kind of human presence around observing the chaos of reality from the imagination of musician's work, aiming to find repercussive reflections with the listener's feelings. Musically I felt the album on a whole both synthesize the aggressive elements found from their debut record and more ethereal tones of their second album. There are also more psychedelic vibes associating with fresh avocados tasting of Kingston Wall on among the songs, and there are also few tracks with vocals, breaking the silence of space. Also tracks like "Run to The Sun" and "Skylines at Night" have some sort of Hawkwind feeling on them, however without cosmic synth electronics blurring on the background. Joni Tiala has also had currently a very active musical phase, as in addition of Moonwagon works he has released a solo album, toured with folk group Vellamo and also worked on musical projects aimed to young children. I believe this has affected to the width of his musical perception and allowed elements of several styles to be adopted on the sound of this fine album.

As only minor critic I would suggest separating opening intro speaking as their own tracks on the CD's, like was done on The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Axis: Bold as Love" digital versions do. How important the narrations are to the album wholeness, this kind of reciting might grow tiresome quite fast. This can possibly be just an indication of today's hastiness of listeners, caught to the maelstrom of hectic society. So warmly recommended for enthusiasts of spaced out progressive rock, surfing on waves of psychedelia but not getting lost to too stoned noodling's. I would also suggest keep eye on event's happening at Oulu's Tukiohta; This stellar drinking place for many kinds of underground events gather also psychedelic light shows, interesting art rock bands from Northern Finland also Swedish groups of the scene. I'm uncertain what the future plans of the trio is, but whatever that would be, with this album they close one circle and finish their journey back home with great style.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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