Album Review: Goon Moon - Licker's Last Leg

QOTSA and Nine Inch Nails 'employees' unveil the beauty of lunacy with Licker's Last Leg

Super groups’ and side-projects rarely live up to expectation. Fans get excited but how often does it end up as just famous people hanging out with their mates, cashing in the ideas that weren’t considered good enough for their full-time band?

Not so Goon Moon. Full-time members Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson and currently bass player in NIN) and Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality frontman, and Queens Of The Stone Age and Kyuss producer) came together after White left Manson to experience “something new” where he could explore a side of their creativity suppressed by the day job.

“Obviously in music and art, if you want to call it that, it should be an expression,” he said in a recent interview with Montana’s Great Falls Tribune. “Not something that you have to cater to your audience for, like saying you’ve gotta make this type of music and this type of record because that’s what sells or that’s what people are expecting from you.”

White spoke to QOTSA’s Josh Homme and he suggested the hook-up with Goss, and so Goon Moon were born. White describes the band as “an open place for Chris and I to be as creative as we want to and just be able to grow and shine.” And the pair take full advantage. Licker’s Last Leg slithers and shimmies through most of the different incarnations of rock, sometimes in a single song like the 10-minute ‘Golden Ball’ that starts out with a poppy bass riff and charming harmonies and ends up not too far from NIN territory. But it all comes together perfectly. It’s hard to categorise something so diverse but it sounds like I hoped Eagles Of Death Metal would, or the best Desert Sessions record yet.

Over a dozen songs there’s psychedelic rock, goth, Stones, metal, Kinks, QOTSA, even Britpop moments (White says he’s a huge fan), and collaborations with Josh Homme, Josh Freese (NIN/A Perfect Circle), Dave Catching (Mondo Generator, Eagles Of Death Metal) and Whitey Kirst (Iggy Pop). There’s even a cover of The Bee Gees’ ‘Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You’ included by White in the hope that people will discover their pre-disco-era incarnation as a psychedelic rock band.

“I just thought, I wanna cover that song because it’s one of my favourites. It has that swagger to it. It’s kind of cool,” he’s said. And that’s probably the best way to sum up the album itself.