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SCENE POINT BLANK 08.10.07

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

Score: 8.6/10

Let's not beat around the bush. Licker's Last Leg is the album Queens of the Stone Age should have put out instead of the bands recent Era Vulgaris. Why the comparison? Well, there's the obvious one – founder/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Chris Goss has long been the unofficial fifth Queens of the Stone Age-er for quite some time, appearing on or producing every album Josh Homme has ever released. But the what should also be obvious one is Goss has the same undeniable talent as Homme to create a catchy, polished, accessible-yet-wholly-different rock album with still enough of an underground sensibility that doesn't make the listener feel like they're losing their street cred by enjoying it.

“Now wait just a gosh darn minute”, I hear you cry. “Didn't you give Era Vulgaris like, a 7.9 rating? Why the negativity now, you fat bastard?”

Okay, first of all, you're out of line with the “fat” comment. Second of all, Era Vulgaris is just one of those albums that comes on strong at first but unfortunately tends to wane with each subsequent listen. Goon Moon has the opposite effect. With every listen you can find something new to like whether it's the numerous guest musicians, like Josh Freese and the aforementioned Homme or the diversity of tone stretching from song to song.

This highlights another similarity with his desert brethrens. While Queens of the Stone Age display the same variation on their albums, the result has become somewhat inconsistent and polarizing – particularly on their latest release. Goon Moon is able to achieve these incongruities without sacrificing the flow of the album as a whole.

Goss's partner in crime, as with the band's previous release is Jeordie White, the artist formerly known as Twiggy Ramirez who once again shows he's no one-trick-pony when it comes to both writing and performing. With Licker's Last Leg, Goss helps to shed the stigma of “stoner” or “desert” rock that has plagued him his entire career from Kyuss to Masters of Reality and everything in between. Ironic, as the majority of songs have the same paradoxical nature usually reserved for a Ween album.

This is without a doubt one of the most accessible albums in the Ipecac discography. A stand out amongst the extreme electronic releases the label's been releasing in the past two years. This is an album that should be promoted relentlessly, one that can and should appear on radio stations other than those found on a campus with a 10-mile range. It's still unclear as to whether Goon Moon will remain a side-project or a full-time endeavor. Hopefully it will become the latter - a band with a refreshing lack of cliché and a lack of self-indulgence unheard of in a mere side-project. Goon Moon is Goss's ticket out of the desert pigeonhole and our oasis in the desert of modern music banality.

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