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The UCSD Guardian




The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian




Album Review: “Secret Life” by Moon King

Album Review: Secret Life by Moon King

Moon King provides ungodly potential wasted on “Indie Rock Syndrome”

Rating: 3/5

Release Date: April 14

Moon King’s “Secret Life” can be described as finding the seemingly perfect girlfriend. She’s funny, smart, beautiful: Everything’s great. But then she gets lazy in the relationship. She stops doing the cute things, and she thinks that she’s safe from a breakup because she worked so hard in the beginning. The album starts off amazingly. It seems like Toronto’s indie-rock duo will be “the one.” However, for a majority of the album, the interesting, impressive sound from the first track abandons the listener and leaves them dealing with the album’s case of “Indie Rock Syndrome.”

What is Indie Rock Syndrome? With a majority of artists, ranging from Phoenix to Puscifer, there has been a consistency with the usage of synthesizers to fill in a layer, as if the artists are afraid that they will sound hollow if they don’t. But since every artist does this, it starts to get too repetitive and generic to captivate any interest.

Apart from the synth cliches, album opener and first single, “Roswell,” reflects the potential the band possesses. It has everything to individualize itself from others: intricate and intelligent layering, an aura that screams personality, authenticity and dedication, unorthodox instrumentation and a clean sound. The song constantly builds onto itself and brings different ostinatos and motifs together almost noticeably. With some intricate sounds, like strange banjo strums and plucking, the song embodies the band’s authenticity. It leaves an optimistic assumption that the album will be a continuously dedicated and authentic one.

There are times when optimism betrays, however. With the constant droning of the synthesizers and repetitive guitar riffs, the album does little to challenge you after some awe-inspiring first tracks. It only gradually gets worse and worse, and eventually you start to wish that the album would end. The fourth track particularly, “Come Back,” wastes your time by providing the antithesis of “Roswell.” Generic sounds with generic synthesizers screaming, “I want to be like everyone else and not contribute anything to my authenticity!” Yet every song screams this phrase until the seventh track, “Apocalypse,” repeats some of the motifs of the first track and where the album picks up again. Expectantly, “Roswell” and “Apocalypse” have the most listens on SoundCloud.

Because the album is the Moon King’s first, there will definitely be room for improvement in the band, so there’s no need to count them out of the game just yet.  If anything, “Roswell” and “Apocalypse” are worth listening to, and only the future can determine whether or not Moon Kingwill still be worth dating in the end.

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