LIVE DAILY 06.12.07

Album Review: Goon Moon - Licker's Last Leg
by Paul Gargano

Goon Moon may fall under the marketing tag of "stoner rock," but there's no special blend or herbal accompaniment needed to truly appreciate this rag-tag collection dubbed "Licker's Last Leg."

In fact, file it somewhere in the neighborhood of "social experiment," "sonic joyride" and "serendipity" (and if that happens to be in the vicinity of "smoke" and "spliff," so be it). Within the 12 tracks, singer/bassist Jeordie White (presently of Nine Inch Nails and the on-hiatus A Perfect Circle, and formerly the dress-wearing, horn-throwing, riff-writing, right-hand man to Marilyn Manson), Masters of Reality singer/guitarist Chris Goss (the production wizard behind Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, to name just the obvious two) and a bevy of guests including drumming Joshes Homme (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal) and Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Vandals) have created a manic melange of delectable ditties, rich grooves and densely-textured tones.

Supple vocal chants bask atop the ambient and minimalist opening slice of "Apple Pie," "My Machine" offers a freaked-out musical reach around, and a peach-fuzz guitar buzz permeates the album, a loosely wound tribute to a cluttered attic of artistic influences. Closer "The Golden Ball" is evidence of just how multi-dimensional things can get, the eight-part, 10-minute trek melding the influence of Frank Zappa and Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, and taking detours through bubble-gum fancies, funked-up rhythms and full-on muscle-car bravado throughout. The sludgy guitars and lush, melodic vocals of "Pin Eyed Boy" beat the Jesus and Mary Chain at their own game, while an ambient and droning cover of "Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You" offers one of the most unlikely nods to the Bee Gees ever recorded.

While fans of the infamous Desert Sessions are sure to appreciate the vast, spacey sonics of "Licker's Last Leg," there's enough here to tickle the fancies of even the least curious accidental listener. And with a name like Goon Moon, who wouldn't be at least a little curious?