Moon Bounce Clean House

Moon Bounce Clean House
9
After a string of singles on labels as geographically disparate as London's Activia Benz, New York's Secret Songs and the Netherlands-based Heroic Recordings, Philadelphia-born Corey Regensburg lands on Grind Select for Clean House, his first full-length as Moon Bounce. It's an excellent debut, full of challenging but catchy pop tunes that are just weird enough.
 
Regensburg's confident production skills and unorthodox approach to rhythm are immediately striking. The intro to second track "Drugs" is a great microcosm of the album in this regard, full of crisp, bright synths, laser-guided programming and guided by a beat that toys with expectations like it can see into the future. Essentially made up of deconstructed hip-hop grooves, the knotty, fractured beats Regensburg uses throughout make the listener work just hard enough, and he knows exactly when to ease up and simplify things as a reward. This is pop that takes its listeners seriously.
 
And Clean House is indeed a pop album, by any standard. Beneath the challenging rhythms, every song follows a familiar structure, and Regensburg's vocals sit prominently in the mix. His lyrics have a knowing and cheeky bent to them that is also appealing; the aforementioned ode to buying drugs has a fairly amusing hook, for instance. But it's the tiny details and well-judged flourishes — the unexpected saxophone solo in "Bad Man" for example, or the deft hip-hop accents in "So Long" — that make this such a thoroughly enjoyable and utterly distinctive debut. That it's full of catchy tunes is just a great bonus. (Grind Select)