Review by Jay Plent.
Following on from an epic album launch show at The Blue Moon, Lunar Echoes have revealed their debut long player: What Goes On Inside Our Heads. Pairing the rough growl of the Cambridge indie scene with the electronic musings of London singer Ronnie White has led to the creation of this: a robotic, rock ‘n’ roll cocktail. The band’s key strengths shine throughout this album. The song-writing is very much its own vision, and though there are many competing elements at play, they all mesh together in a largely cohesive and exciting way. Whether it’s the twang and urgency of the guitar and basslines, the thudding drums or the impactful vocals, each member gets a moment in the sun (or should we say, moon) across the runtime.
Starting out strong, and with the added credibility of 20 weeks in Cambridge 105’s Unsigned chart, a fourth-time feat for the members formerly of The Abstracts, Stockholm Syndrome is tense and foreboding in places, much as its title suggests. Yet between the shade, there is light. Passionate vocals and a wailing guitar solo make for great entertainment, even channelling a bit of Evanescence at times… that’s a comparison intended positively, we might add. This passion and fusion of electronic instrumentation with rock sensibilities carries over for much of the album, working best on tracks like Lies, Neon and Strangers.
Strangers and Wild are particular adept in using the best of both worlds, packing in high energy performances and memorable poppy hooks. Despite twinkling synth arpeggios and crunchy guitar tones, Wild actually evokes something of a country vibe, and it’s a union that works better than you’d expect it to on paper. Tonally it all blends together very nicely, the only notable exception being Void, where a smidge more expression and use of sustain in the piano-led intro would’ve made the world of difference.
There’s a hell of a lot of variety on What Goes On Inside Our Heads. We get waltzes on tracks like Saving Grace, Foo Fighters-esque rhythms on Something I Said, and a grandiose, bass driven flourish on Radio Silence. However, this variety can make the album feel a little unfocussed. There are moments such as on Neon’s chorus where lyrically, syllables feel unnaturally stretched to meet the rhythm of the song, something also noticeable in the breakdown of Stockholm Syndrome. What’s more the drums are consistently in need of a bit more treble to cut through the mix. Even with these flaws though, the band carry off the songs with such confidence that it’s hard to fault their desire to try new things. There’s plenty in the way of catchy, anthemic music to wrap your ears around, Neon and Lies being the standout tracks. Lunar Echoes are a band striving towards a unique sonic identity, and they’ve come in leaps and bounds in a few short years. What Goes On Inside Our Heads is testament to that progress, and the vitality of new beginnings. We can’t wait to see what comes next.