LOCALS ONLY: Mansions on the Moon

By Zachariah Weaver

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Posted November 7, 2013 in Music
-2A mix between big electric drums being slammed together and chamber vocal harmonies taken from any M83 song, is the best way to describe “Full Moon”–the first track off of the LA-based electro-pop band Mansions on the Moon’s latest EP, Full Moon. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “that’s a lot of Moons.” But let me assure you, the melodic tides this band pulls out into their sea of pop, is totally worth the repetition.

The first track, “Full Moon” begins with a riff that sounds much like a song off an old SEGA Genesis fighting video game like Ninja Turtles or Street Fighter. They make an edgy guitar riff dance around with a high-pass filtered snare, giving the song a dream-like atmosphere. However, this songs reverie is focused, and it has the power to turn a listener’s attention into a full-blown fantasy.

Track three–“More Than Nothing” featuring an artist named Codi [Caraco], who is a friend of theirs, is a song that very quickly settles everything down on the EP. Opening up with a pulsating drum synth, it lends its sound to a mix between Death Cab For Cutie and The Shins. But it messes with everyone’s ears right away. When Codi’s sweet, fragile voice comes bursting in on the second verse with drawn-out reverbs she gives the song a sound close to the likes of a Christmas carol remake. Not in a cheesy way, of course.

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Going back to track two–“It’s Not Too Late” is a song that captures my first description of Mansions on the Moon. Drums slamming together and electronically-filtered harmonies colliding as one to bring about a very new taste of electro-pop in LA and the surrounding southern Calif. regions, MOTM really nail their new EP’s sound with their second song off Full Moon. What I also really enjoy about this tune is the big crashes on all the offbeat changes in rhythm. It kind of reflects what you’d call a tag, but with drums.

Unfortunately, there’s an aspect in this album I wasn’t quite sold on. In the beginning of the last track, “Radio” the band mimics the tag with their vocals, singing “Ah eh eh eh oh oh oh oh oh…” to give that part some kind of energy, I’m guessing. But, without compromising the entire EP’s fantastic production, this last choice wasn’t my favorite. It comes off as a little too distracting.

And that’s okay, not every song on every album needs to fit in to what every listener wants to hear. It just needs to have a majority of great work. And that’s what Mansions on the Moon has done with Full Moon. The EP is full of it and will keep you coming back for more.

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