Formed in college, the 19 year-old duo of Michael Reid and Chris Bainbridge have discovered an alchemy almost by accident, flung together for a class recording session but soon realising they were on to something special, they both almost immediately decided to quit college. Wisely choosing instead to spend their time honing a lock-tight intensity that festers at the pit of their psychedelic tinged spatial post-punk. Subsequently Man of Moon have found fans in The Phantom Band, who became such big fans that they took them on tour; ditto The Twilight Sad. Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan liked them so much, that his production credit lies on their stunning debut 7”.
“Since Chris was a kid his dad was on a lot of medication and would say things that inspired Chris’s lyrics massively,” explains Reid of the duo’s name. “He would describe the visions he was seeing and frequently they’d come across as other worldly. Chris saw his Dad as a sort of ‘Man of Moon’.” The impact of these darkly psychedelic trappings, as well as the ebb and flow of the sea that the coastal-dwelling Bainbridge takes huge influence from manifests itself on the unerring motoric groove and shimmering rising peaks of A side The Road. A song about Chris’s sisters attempts to break free from struggles with anxiety, it places a foot in the UK neo-psychedelic revival, sure, but feels more a struggle for escapism rather than a wallowing immersion into the hypnotic repetition that underpins it.
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That struggle feels almost won on This World; yet Man of Moon will never, you suspect, admit victory, a doubt always lingering underneath. A stripped back but oddly full sounding anti-ballad, Chris’s vocals are compressed and nervy amidst a contrastingly opiate expanse. It’s here where the pair’s stated love of bands like Mogwai, Can, Russian Circles as well as cinematic film scores comes to the fore, as they similarly explore and probe both the range and nuances of their dynamic spectrum. Taken by itself it’s a grippingly uneasy five minutes, coupled with its A-side it makes for one of the most devastating opening statements by a new British band in recent times.
Catch Man of Moon live
7th June – BBC Introducing at the Quay, Glasgow
10th June – The Art School, Glasgow (supporting Admiral Fallow)
11th June – Xpo North Festival, Inverness
24th July – Wickerman Festival – Solus Tent, Dundrennan
30th July – Voodoo Rooms (Speakeasy), Edinburgh
31st July – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
29th August – Electric Fields Festival, Dumfries
5th September – Joctoberfest, Black Isle Brewery, Inverness