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The Aliens

'Luna'

Released on 29 September 2008 on Pet Rock

While their first album `Astronomy for Dogs` was a compilation of what they`d written up till then, `Luna` stands far more confidently as an album, as a piece of art.  You need only listen out for the bizarre departure of sound during `Theremin` to appreciate the conceptual leaps forward made on their difficult second LP.  Not necessarily difficult in terms of ideas (as these are myriad) but through the continued involvement of Gordon Anderson, irresistably comparable to Syd Barrett in terms of weighty genius but also his prolonged and well documented mental health problems.

Both `Bobby`s Song` (the bastard child of Joe Buck and Aldous Huxley raised by Polish polka players) and `Billy Jack` (an unlikely tribute to Black Sabbath that makes The Darkness look like, well, a cabaret act fronted by a buck-toothed weirdo) clock in at a weighty, yet not lumpen ten and a half minutes in length while `Amen` (a celestial carol service) and `Luna` (a truly cosmic waltz through space in the style of the band`s beloved `Chill Out` by The KLF) serve as intermissions separating these epics from the traditional rock, roll and quirky folk.

`Blue Mantle` concludes the album, gliding gleefully through space while reprising the chorus to `Bobby`s Song` in one of the most affecting, captivating and, perhaps hallucinatory (who can tell?) moments since Pink Floyd`s `Dark Side of the Moon`.  It may be foolish to draw comparisons to that particular landmark LP but, what the fuck, I`m going to be first. 

As the titles suggest, `Astronomy for Dogs` found the band grounded, rooted and in a metaphorical doghouse of then `unfashionable` music as peers embraced the short-term pop highs and simplistic strata of `new rave`.  `Luna` now finds them, relaxed on the light side of the moon, effortlessly reaching out for the stars.

Posted on 29 September 2008 by Richard Brown

Tags: The Aliens  Luna  LP  Album  Review 

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