Moon Menz and Mollyz Bar, Halifax NS, May 23

Moon Menz and Mollyz Bar, Halifax NS, May 23
Photo: Ryan McNutt
"Anyone have a guitar I can play? Anyone?" asked Moon's Andrew Neville when the low E string on his Fender appeared to go incredibly wonky during last night's OBEY set. At first, he got no response from the crowd. "No one has a guitar anymore," he quipped. "Anyone have a laptop?"
Neville eventually was offered a borrowed guitar to play and the set continued, but the remark — a comment, in jest, on how a festival like OBEY features a lot of instrumentation that's not traditionally "rock" — was somewhat appropriate in Moon's circumstance. The Halifax band writes catchy songs with jittery Krautrock rhythms that almost beg for keyboard or synthesizer accompaniment. Instead of a digital sound, though, the band's songs were fleshed out Saturday night (May 23) with flute and violin, giving the six-piece band a naturalistic feel that sounded decidedly unique among OBEY's many bands.
Neville handles most of Moon's vocals, switching between a soft falsetto and a sharper spoken tone that sounded ripped out of the 1970s New York underground. The first couple of songs, though, were handled by Noel Macdonald, whose vocal tone covets its "ooo" sounds with an Elvis Costello-esque force. If one were seeing Moon for the first time, the shift from one to the other might have seemed unexpected, but that's part of the band's charm: its riffs and rhythms may hold (kraut)rock steady, but the textures overtop never stay in one place too long.