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Thinking Plague - Moonsongs CD (album) cover

MOONSONGS

Thinking Plague

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.61 | 36 ratings

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Pafnutij
2 stars A rather bad example of Rock in Opposition, although not because the album is "difficult" or particularly complicated - actually, it's quite the contrary. Compared to the immensely dense and complex compositions found on Thinking Plague's more recent efforts, 'Moonsongs' appears pretty laid-back and simple. It's also quite evident that the band was experiencing a shortage of quality material at the time, as the majority of this album is consumed by sparse, droning synth washes and occasional noises - apparently in an attempt to create some sort of ambient, meditative atmosphere. I guess it's safe to regard this as an experiment by a band that had yet to realize their full potential. And a pretty bad experiment, for that matter.

The first two songs are quite decent, as this is where about 90% of the record's quality material are found. 'Warheads' (apparently written some years earlier in response to the hostage crisis in Iran) begins with a catchy riff, quite sinister but energetic and slightly funky. The chorus part I also like quite a lot . For the rest of the song, the band unfortunately decides to rely on random sounds and the aforementioned "ambient" synths, but at this point it isn't particularly annoying yet. Following the songs is 'Etudes for Combo', a quirky instrumental with a number of interesting motifs (some of which would later be used in "Les etudes de L'organism" for "In extremis").

Actually, "Collarless Fog That One Day Soon" is also worth hearing, as the keyboard doodles actually succeed at times in achieving a rather haunting atmosphere. (the twangy melodies at the beginning are quite captivating). But with "Inside Out", the album begins a rapid downhill slide. It's the same thing as "Collarless Fog." , except the synth twangs are replaced by the vocals of Susanne Lewis - there's nothing wrong with here crystal-clear voice, except that it fails to save this pointless filler. And then there's the annoyingly long title track: though there are some musical ideas hinting that the band actually COMPOSED something here, it's built almost mostly around unremarkable sounds and effects, frequently backed by tribal percussion.

Thus, there isn't much challenging material here, and even less memorable stuff. Do check out "In Extremis" (which IS pretty difficult), but don't bother with this one unless you're a hardcore TP fan.

Pafnutij | 2/5 |

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