CD Cover Moonstone

Review by Dorothy Parvaz

45-second excerpt from "Still Can't Cry" (various formats)

It always hurts to hear bad indie records, for one very basic reason: these bands are independent (i.e., free from the fetters of corporate molestation), so they don't have to pander to anything or anyone. It's expected, then, that as artists, they'll use this opportunity to do something honest, expressive and maybe even innovative. Oh, in a perfect world... Then you hear a band like Vancouver's own Moonstone.

There really isn't a single redeeming quality to this quintet's tired glam-rock sound. Bad vocals (Kae Solomon's tone-deaf warbling lead over some poorly-timed back-up vocals), thoughtless guitar, forgettable drums... and bass? Don't ask. Played by the tragically-named Jett Black (wait, he didn't really choose that name, did he?), you have to strain yourself to pick up a trace of whatever the heck it is he's doing.

And, oh man, those lyrics -- "You have changed before my eyes/ Master of deception/ Keep thinking I'll fall into your hands..." (from the weep-worthy opening track, "Still Can't Cry"). Master of deception? Please. And it only gets worse. If you make it to track 6, "Rock On Children," (and all natural laws indicate that you won't, unless some sort of serious affliction -- like a hangover or a bad case of Ebola -- renders you so weak that you can't press the "stop" button), what awaits you is "Oh the pain of the twisted knife/ Love is false and misleading...Behold the most bitter night/ In the dying embers of the sun..."

Listening to Collage (or anything like it, really), you can't help but come up with a couple of questions you'd like to ask the band. For example, are they really happy with this? Is sounding like some roadhouse rock n' roll cover band the extent of their expression, their musicianship?

Then again, maybe Moonstone's not interested in being original. Maybe they're not interested in offering anything in the way of thought-provoking, or even straight-up booty-shaking, tunes. The most palatable explanation is that perhaps their music is intentionally bad...

Artist Contact Info: #38 - 1744 Kingsway, Vancouver, B.C., V5N 2S3, Canada

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 22, 1998

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