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Moon Letters - Thank You from the Future CD (album) cover


Moon Letters


Heavy Prog

3.95 | 40 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars Lots off artists barking at the MOON these days. I can't keep track of how many MOON bands there are any longer! There's Moon Safari of course in the prog world but so many more like Moon Goons, Moon Duo, Moon Tan, Moon Phantoms and countless others. Here's yet another one of the newer harbingers of modern retro prog, the Seattle based MOON LETTERS. This band doesn't just copy and paste its prog ethos from the past but rather has constructed an interesting new take on taking something old and reinventing it to suit a newer audience in the modern day and age all the while tamping down the tones and timbres to fit into the old school golden age prog world. So far MOON LETTERS founded and led by guitarist Dave Webb released the debut "Until They Feel The Sun" in 2019 and after receiving warranted kudos for an interesting retro-prog stylistic approach, MOON LETTERS continues and ups its game on its second release THANK YOU FROM THE FUTURE.

This is my first exposure to MOON LETTERS but from what i've read there has been a significant improvement from the debut. This album of seven tracks is retro down to the 41-minute playing time and features elements from many classic prog bands. There's an interesting symphonic prog sound reminiscent of Yes at times and Kansas at others. There are also playful early Spock's Beard vocal antics, Gentle Giant time signature gymnastics and occasional King Crimson styled rocking out. However the one artist that comes to mind more often than others is that there is a clear Mars Volta thing going on here. The juxtaposition of musical elements with the punk rocker's intensity in fully fueled prog time signature splendor was the winning formula for albums like "De-Loused in the Comatorium" and "Francis The Mute." Luckily MOON LETTERS succeeds in finding its own voice.

MOON LETTERS was formed six years ago in 2016 and features some prog veterans including guitarist Dave Webb (Spacebag, Wah Wah Exit Wound), lead vocalist and flautist Michael Trew (Autumn Electric), drummer Kelly Mynes (Panther Attack!, Bone Cave Ballet), bassist Mike Murphy (Authentic Luxury) and keyboardist John Allday (Chaos and Cosmos). The debut "Until They Feel The Sun" was warmly received by the prog world and if it's in the same vein as this new release i can tell why! Add to that a really cool album cover and i'm all in. This is what i call fun prog, that is prog that engages in all the check the box elements like time signature frenzies, extended compositional fortitude and improvisation up the ying yang yet without scarifying that playful melodic sing-songy style that made the 70s bands so cool.

If i had to compare MOON LETTERS sounds like what you would get if you mixed The Mars Volta with Spock's Beard and Magic Pie without really sounding like any of the above but a trained ear can surely detect the influences embedded in every cadence. There have been comparisons to Rush and even Dream Theater but MOON LETTERS is a bit more quirky than Rush and not heavy enough to squeak into the world of progressive metal. Nevertheless there are some Dream Theater keyboard dynamics and as far as excellent musicianship is concerned MOON LETTERS does have the chops to sit side by side with some of the aforementioned greats. What's the most cool about THANK YOU FROM THE FUTURE is the unpredictability of the song structures. While they maintain an infectious melodic accessibility, the band breaks into surprising changes in the regularly scheduled program therefore this is amazingly cool at times!

If you love album's like Spock Beard's debut "The Light" then this is right up your alley. The production is professional crafted and the creativity is firing on all pistons. The musicians are quite talented and showcase an amazing adaptability to improvising in unorthodox ways while holding down the main melodic theme. What's also cool is that no instrument or style is dominant. THANK YOU FROM THE FUTURE is truly the musical equivalent of a kaleidoscope in splendiferous coloration. Definitely more retro than modern sounding but the creativity in how the band revisits classic sounds is nothing short of impressive. Looking forward to more from MOON LETTERS.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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