Album Review: Goon Moon - I Got a Brand New Egg Layin' Machine
by Jason Crock

Why does the world need a side project from Zach Hill, Twiggy Ramirez, and Chris Goss (from Masters of Reality)? I don't think the band themselves could answer that, but that's also not the point: For as odd or predictable as this LP could have turned out, Goon Moon happily split the difference between experimentation and accessibility by not spending much time on either. One minute someone's whispering "meow, kitty" over abrasive squalls of guitar; the next, they sound like Queens of the Stone Age. None of these guises are ever fully explored, but I've Got A Brand New Egg Layin' Machine dips its toes in several styles while maintaining a campy Halloween vibe, and keeps things light through its most extreme moments.

Along with its diversity, it's the album's brevity that makes it so palatable-- it's attack one idea, get out, and go on to the next. "Mud Puppies" swings its stoner-rock riff like a mace behind ghostly chorus singers before dropping into industrial drones halfway through. If you're not watching, you'll probably miss the noise bleeding into "Inner Child Abuse", led by Hill's tight improvised pummeling on drums, which then railroad the transition into the ghoulish organ and corrosive guitar squeals of "The Smoking Man Returns". "Rock Weird (Weird Rock)", runs through scales over a stilted zombie march while a robotic voice chants "weird rock, weird rock, weird rock, weird rock, rock weird, rock weird..." (and I know, because they were thorough enough to transcribe those lyrics in the booklet. Thanks a shitload, guys.) The manipulated vocals continue through the perky folk strumming of "Mashed", then a announcer with a southern accent introduces the gothic surf rock of the title track. "No Umbrellas", one of only two songs with normal, unmolested vocals, moves through supercharged proto-punk guitar riffs with one-finger piano and handclaps, recalling the playful best of QOTSA. After all that, the traditional lift-yr-lighter closing ballad "Apartment 31" is somehow the strangest of the bunch.

The musicians of Goon Moon have made listenable record, while clearly unconcerned who listens to it. For fans of both indie and psychedelic rock, there's some reward, but the straddling of that line seems purely incidental. It's a short, strange trip, but it sounds like it was fun as hell to make and doesn't aim for anything more. Consider it the lighter side of indulgence from three talented and bizarre musicians.