Los Angeles three piece Moaning seem to have everything figured out. While the band has traded abrasive riffs for synths, their sound has grown for the better. Two years after their debut album Moaning, the band returns with their new album Uneasy Laughter, and the change in tone seems to be for the better.
The opening track “Ego” takes post punk with synthesizers to the place where Ceremony should’ve taken their latest record. The seamless transitions of the song are elegantly placed where the band adds synths with ease while still holding at their core. While “Make It Stop” offers dark and searing riffs, the bass lines and the drums cut through that tone to bring a more refined tone through. There’s little here to dislike as the trio expands their sound with plenty of post punk graces that keep them grounded. The entire album is a perfect blend of post punk throughout its incarnation as a genre.
“Stranger” has those early eighties tones of The Cure, “Connect the Dots” has little touches of bands like Modern English and “Coincidence of Fate” has all the makings of mid-eighties post punk meets new wave structure. But the album isn’t a throwback in the same regards either. While we loved the sound of “What Separates Us,” our favorite track here comes on the final track, “Say Something.” While the song is a synth infused jam, it still stands out as a song where the growth of the band and the change in direction work in the group’s favor, distancing themselves from a lot of the East Coast post punk that just copies early Parquet Courts.
Uneasy Laughter is available to purchase in multiple physical formats directly from Sub Pop Records. It can also be streamed on all platforms or purchased digitally in all digital outlets.
Image Credits: Photo by Michael Schmelling.