JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
It’s spring again and changes are in the air. The Catholic Church unveiled a new Pope (well, relatively new. The dude’s 78 years old). The Department of Agriculture is showing off its new food pyramid. Twiggy Ramirez, former guitarist for Mr. Spookypants himself (Marilyn Manson) has a new band.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. We have another elderly white European dude spending his twilight years in a silly hat in Rome. The revered food pyramid is simply chopped into segments to help shiftless video game addicts find a caloric intake small enough to match their low energy expenditures. Ramirez (and Hella skins-beater Zach Hill, too), however, embrace change in Goon Moon.
Goon Moon’s weird-assed instrumentals aren’t too big of a change for Hill; they’re actually a large step toward normalcy from Hella’s nutso arrangements. Ramirez, a man best known for warmed over, mouth-breathing metal riffs, takes a step away from his former life as Manson satellite on Goon Moon. This time out, the trio, which rounds out with bassist Chris Goss, pitches sludgy, stoner-inspired post-rock noise. Most similar to Hella’s aural S&M, Goon Moon opts for weird, heavy and sort of progressive for its debut. A noisy, convoluted monster that can best be described as a poor man’s Hella – think less twists and turns and more metal – Goon Moon is a tug-of-war between the noises made by Hill and Ramirez’s paycheck-generating bands.
Whether or not Goon Moon was created as a way for Hill to dumb-down his manic drum arrangements or Ramirez to shed the scarlet letter of Manson involvement for a respectable artistic reputation, it sure seems that way. Not nearly as challenging as Hella, Goon Moon approaches listeners with a friendlier, accessible nature. That’s not to mean it’s Joe Satriani guitar jams Goon Moon is filled with turbulent and shifting arrangements that check post-rock’s obsession with nonlinear rhythms and curveball dynamics. Manson fans, you’d better run back to the protective and utterly complacent arms of your Antichrist.