Man of Moon are Chris Bainbridge (vocals, guitar) and Michael Reid (drums) who forged their sound on a granite bedrock as dense as the one that support their local castle. ‘When We Were Young’ is taken from their forthcoming album Dark Sea which was recorded at Argyll’s The Cottage Studio on Loch Fyne and it’s the surrounding landscape that helped inform the sound. Bainbridge says “The album’s moments of euphoria, I think, come from the fact that every time we stepped between takes we were just looking across the water at these huge, mountain landscapes”.
I’m not sure how many layers it took to create ‘When We Were Young’ but most of them must have been used to make a bowel-shaking drone that I found so resonant I had to count my fillings after listening to make sure they were all still there. The opening fuzzed-up riff bristles like 5-day old stubble and pulses like the tide before being joined by a metronomic drum beat that anchors the track throughout. Gently undulating vocals glide through the dark waters of this track and just when you have become hypnotised by the movement of this drone-leviathan there are moments when the surface is breached in the chorus’ vast spray (“when we were young”) or the colour-explosion of the middle eight. The song’s final section flexes and elongates into slow motion and shimmers to its end leaving only the undisturbed surface of the loch glinting in the night.
Man of Moon seem to be drawing energy deep from within the Earth’s crust and if this track is anything to go by the album Dark Sea could be tapped as a new natural energy source as well as giving the listener a chance to luxuriate in the shimmering space between dusk and dawn, the twilight drone.
The album Dark Sea is released on 25 September and you can pre-order it here
Review by Paul F Cook