Fans of post-punk may find themselves revisiting Moaning's debut more frequently than new tracks by established artists (Soft Moon, Preoccupations, APTBS). Dark and dreamy coalesce here, as retro romanticism meets mathy noise and shimmery shoegaze.
Influenced by New Order, Broadcast, and Slowdive, fuzzy feedback and starry synths pervade. Producer Alex Newport (Bloc Party, At the Drive-In) is an ideal fit for Moaning's mission. The danceable "Don't Go" is both dreary and upbeat. Deadpan vocals grow impassioned, bringing Interpol to mind, on the first single, "The Same." "For Now" swerves from noise to swirling sentiment. Softer tracks "Close" and "Tired" provide a fulfilling change of pace, while the low-fi recording conveys new wave nostalgia.
Moaning establish their sound while dodging redundancy on their debut. Ten years of playing together in other bands has made them sure of themselves. Their first offering accomplishes what it sets out to in a way post-punk fans fearing stagnation will appreciate. As old favourites veer off in new directions or the intensity of their output fades, young newcomers like Moaning are a welcome addition to the genre. (Sub Pop)