Album Review – Newmoon, Space

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Space - PIAS

Belguim’s Newmoon have released their debut album, Space, today, the band have taken their name from an Elliot Smith album and the members of Newmoon have previously played in the much loved hardcore punk band, Midnight Souls, which is now widely recognised as one of the finest to emerge from their home country. Space is a distinct shift away from their hardcore origins, they have moved into a more expansive, mellower and richer sound, but despite the shift they have retained the DIY ethic of their previous incarnation, and remain committed to producing music on their own terms.

The album opens with Helium, this harks back to the days of shoegaze indie, but with a darker twist to it, this initial track, and indeed most of Space, comes across like a dark languid wall of sound. The pace and texture of the songs varies throughout the album, but it retains an atmospheric and appropriately spacey feel over the ten tracks, the whole album reverberates with the influence of the UK shoegaze scene but with a slightly darker and more grandiose feel to it. This is an album that’s bursting with layers of atmospheric guitars, heavy drums and yearning vocals that draws you in with it’s hedonistic reverb drenched soundtrack, the only exception being the track Hi, which to me is a pointess two minutes of white noise that brings nothing to album other than an urge to hit the skip button.

The production on Space is bordering on perfection, in fact it’s probably one of the best produced albums I’ve heard this year, everything is in perfect balance and the wall of sound is certainly impressive. If you’re a fan of The Raveonettes Pretty In Black era, early Stone Roses or the indie scene in general, especially the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Ride then this is an album you need to own. If you were expecting any trace of their hardcore roots then you’ll be in for a disappointment, there is no trace of the sound of their former selves on this album. This is a deep lush, and somewhat self indulgent, album of atmospheric shoegaze that I think would have benefitted from a shot of adrenalin to recapture some of the energy and anger from their past.

You can order Space here