Moonlight Desires – At The Movies EP
Infamous Butcher Records
Release Date: 17/07/2020
Running Time: 15:01
Review by Martin Bennewith
Sometimes it is good to go back in time. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing, and it brings back lots of memories, and when the cue that triggers you to drift back in time is positive and energetic, then you will often find that the memories are laced with joy. What I like most about this EP is that it gives me a double dose of nostalgia. The most obvious one being the 80’s, where hair was big, music was made out of cheese, and 45’s were a thing, but it also sent me back to just after the turn of the millennium, when I still had hair, and bands such as Green Day, Wheatus and the Foo Fighters were somewhere in my CD pile.
In a Nutshell, Moonlight Desires are an alternative rock band boasting a style that fits in well with my noughties CD collection, but they apply this sound to turn well known 80’s hits on their head. “At The Movies” goes one further as it is a collection of 4 tracks from classic 80’s movies, so it really is great food if you have got an appetite for reliving moments from the past.
It kicks off (no pun intended!) with ‘Glory Of Love’ – Peter Cetera’s original version can be found in the film ‘The Karate Kid’, and this song certainly packs a punch. This is not the first time that this song has been given a rock makeover, as New Found Glory fans will tell you. As such, Moonlight Desires’ take on this song is more like the New Found Glory Version, albeit with more of a hard rock edge. It starts off with obligatory power chords which sets the tone for the whole track, along with a cutting lead guitar producing the melody, and as you hear the vocals and lead melodies develop, you can see where it is heading. When the chorus kicks in, I have to remind myself that I am not listening to Teenage Dirtbag, but this is not a criticism! The track, given the style, is itching for a lead solo, and it does not disappoint. I do find that the vocals slightly lack a cutting edge and are almost drowned out by the guitars. I think given the powerful feel-good lyrics the song possesses, I would have liked to hear the singing cut through a tad more. Apart from this, I think it is well produced, dare I say slightly overproduced.
Next on the list is a track from the film ‘Dirty Dancing’ – ‘Hungry Eyes’. It is certainly an interesting take on the song, with guitars a plenty. It has a lot of energy, and is certainly not as predictable as the first track. Imagine heavy vocals, overdriven rhythm guitars, and lots of lead breaks, alternating from energy, to calm, and back again. One thing I will say, is the opening did not capture my attention at first, and the feel I got was slightly lazy, however the journey from beginning to end was certainly one to grab attention overall. The pace of the track varies so much, that you sometimes forget you are listening to the same song. It goes from a Green Day type rhythm guitar with complimenting melodies to perhaps overly indulgent guitar noodling more like Motorhead. I was not a fan of the original song, and I certainly do prefer this version. Perhaps the dull nature of the original was why Moonlight Desires spent a lot of work creating something that is quite far apart from what Eric Carmen came up with.
The third instalment is a cover of The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough – My recollection of this song, as well as the Cyndi Lauper original are almost non-existent, so I will take this for what it is without any comparison. I think this, vocally, has the most energy. Think Dave Grohl mixed with the sarcastic tones of Billie Joe Armstrong. The music is also complimentary to this style. It is quite predictable, similar to ‘Glory Of Love’, but this is probably a good thing, as I imagine being in the middle of a mosh pit when the chorus comes on, and it certainly reminds me of those days. Lots of power chords, a great rhythm, and this time, the lead guitar is merely adding to the energy rather than taking over. It has a high feel-good factor, without too much depth or thought provoking to note.
The final outing, ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ is a bit of an anti-climax. I loved the original, so perhaps I am biased and not taking this for what it is, but I don’t think this would have done it for me if it were their song. There are a couple of reasons for this. The vocals do not have the same level of energy and light-hearted sarcasm that come across on the first three tracks, and the style seems out of context. It feels too close to the original for my liking. To be fair, they do manage to funk up the song with some rhythmic lead fills and attempt to create the kind of energy that their music clearly aims to generate, but for this to be more connected to the rest, they could have strayed away a bit from Simple Mind’s version. Perhaps as the original is great, they might not have wanted to destroy it, but in trying not to they have fallen short of what could have been possible.
Overall I enjoyed listening to “At The Movies” and although a lot of this was because of the novelty element, it brought a smile to my face, took me back in time, and brought back some good memories, so for this I would give it a thumbs up.
01. Glory Of Love (Peter Cetera Cover)
02. Hungry Eyes (Eric Carmen Cover)
03. The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough (Cyndi Lauper Cover)~
04. Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds Cover)
Juan Helluva – 5 String Bass/Backup Vocals
Ashley Blue – 6 String Guitar/Backup Vocals
Twan Holliday – Vocals/8 String Bass
Christopher James – Drums
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