The Moonlandingz is a probably-semi-fictional side project of Lias and Saul of the Fat Whites and the vintage synth-lovin' experimentalists The Eccentronic Research Council. The ERC released an album last year of wandering dark allegory called Johnny Rocket, Narcissist and Music Maker, I'm Your Biggest Fan (or something to that effect, I'm hungover), where the protagonist (Maxine Peak!) falls into an infatuated cycle of obsession with the singer of a fictional band. That band are The Moonlandingz, brought to life for the purposes of art, and kept alive because they're better than any non-fictional band in the non-fictional universe.
Last year saw the band release the Moonlandingz EP, which featured the ineffably perfect Sweet Saturn Mine, a fuzzy nugget of astral garage-rock that was equal parts pop perfection and weirdo freakout. Part of me was a bit (a lot) worried that that would be it for the band - why would they exist any longer than they need to? They don't exist, do they? No one's really sure.
But it seems like The Moonlandingz definitely do exist and are definitely back for more. They just unveiled the dark Blak Hanz, the title track to a new EP, which is non-fictionally and physically out on Transgressive records on December 16 its available now digitally, and we'll be back to you with a review soon), the prelude to a 2017 debut album. On the Blak Hanz track, Lias, or Johnny Rocket as I'll call him in relation to the Moonlandingz from now on, has his trademark filthy holler and the band are exactly as described on The Eccentronic Research Council album (but darker): "cosmic synth krautabilly group doing fuzzy Joe Meek-style pop”. Sound perfect? That's because it is.
Blurring the lines between the fictitious, the facetious and the factual, The Moonlandingz have gone from a quirky narrative device to one of the most exciting musical prospects in the entire world. They're guitar music's Vladislav Surkov; who knows what's real anymore? And who the fuck cares when it sounds this good?
Pre-order the EP (seriously, do it)
(Words: Cal Cashin)