Being a child of the 80’s I remember seeing various bands on Top of the Pops, the fashions were wild, the pop stars were cool and the instruments on stage ranged from guitars and drums to rows and rows of keyboards and synthesizers. The 80’s, particularly the early 80’s, is regarded as the time period when synthesizers really took their place in the charts, bands such as Human League, Ultravox, Pet Shop Boys and Erasure took bedroom tinkering to the masses and took the baton from bands such as Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes and proved that, if handled correctly, complete albums could be produced through this exciting new medium.
One imagines that London duo Moonshot saw and heard the same things as me during these years and, deciding to ignore the path of Slush Puppy’s and skateboards, picked up a keyboard or two because the songs on Last Train Home sometimes feels like a homage to these bands.
The album starts in pop territory, the first two songs are something that wouldn’t sound out of place in Sara Cox’s vinyl collection, but then it cruises through the genres and sub genres like a train visiting stations.
Acoustic guitar features on an early track and is used again as a percussive addition, something that works very well and bridges the gap between electronic and conventional. Personally, I would have liked the addition of an acoustic drumkit for some songs to give the songs a punch but the drum patterns are well selected ranging from dance beats to bordering on jungle and what they’ve made is a polished, complete offering.
The bonus of having two singers is an advantage, the vocals can intertwine, harmonise and switch lead vocals giving different songs different character and atmosphere, tag-teaming from the deadpan vocal similar to ABC’s Martin Fry or Human League’s Philip Oakey to a singer who at times resembles Jeff Lynne.
Often electronic music can lack variety, relying sometimes on one common sound or theme but what we get is varied and it doesn’t repeat itself, if you want an album written and performed by fans of the music, this is it.
Well worth a listen.
For tasters of the album, and previous releases by Moonshot, visit https://fandg.me/moonshot/