LIVE 4 METAL 04.30.05

Album Review: Goon Moon - I Got A Brand New Egg Layin' Machine

By Natasha Padilla

Goon Moon is Chris Goss (Masters of Reality, rock producer extraordinaire), Twiggy Ramirez (a.k.a. Jeordie White, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, ex-Marilyn Manson), and Zach Hill (Hella, Team Sleep), a side project that "highlights different sides of each contributor's talents and ideas otherwise hidden, skipped, or vetoed with their full-time bands," according to the trio's bio. Hill handles drum duties while Goss and Ramirez go to town on synths, guitars, bass, and vocals. The result is an experimental collaboration that ranges from prog rock to stoner fuzz to campfire space jams, synth dementia, and horror/sci-fi noise. In a sense itís a new spin on Josh Hommeís Desert Sessions. A twenty-five minute twisted circus sideshow traveling across ten tracks, Goon Moon seamlessly arranges its musical bag of tricks without ever sounding contrived. Classic rock sensibility and Hill's outstanding free form drumming root the effort's outlandish first half from "The Wired Wood Shed" through "The Smoking Man Returns". "Mud Puppies'" spooky sing-along ghost wails are the only vocals amidst the extraterrestrial synth washes, blips, blasts, and psychedelic progressions during this stretch. "The Smoking Man Returns" is an intergalactic warfare homage to Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", followed by the warm-up-style interlude "At the Kit Kat Klub", complete with sound collage crowd murmur. "Rock Weird (Weird Rock)" ushers in the disc's more structured second half with robotic vocals reminiscent of Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express", and spooky carousel calliope alongside How the Grinch Stole Christmas Who carol-sing. An acoustic summer love jam that borrows the classic "Hey Joe" turnaround, "Mashed", Goon Moon's catchiest number, features freaky flanged vox repeating a "mashed potatoes and cream" mantra. Beginning with metallic cries from outer space, "No Umbrellas" then descends into a Queens of the Stone Age-esque rocker, save for Hill's frenzied bashing. This man could very well be the human embodiment of Animal from The Muppet Show band. Lazy, warm, indie ballad "Apartment 31" unexpectedly closes the EP with yelped backing croons, no doubt an ironic stab at emo-inducing, Pinkerton-era Weezer. With a full-length release slated for later this year, what else Goon Moon has lurking behind its neon masks and ultraviolet minds is anyone's guess. For now, I Got a Brand New Egg Layin' Machine is the most listenable, enticing experimental record these ears have heard.