By Raymond Ahmer, Ground Control Magazine []

When I walked into The Great American Music Hall and heard Grinderman playing on the P.A., I was hoping it was a sign of things to come. Listening to them for the first time, I immediately compared Goon Moon with Grinderman. Here are two bands whose core member is known for something other than their current project. They have both assembled a band with extremely talented musicians, and both have made some no-frills rocking music. Their sound is not similar to each otherís in any way, but they are two very similar bands. I was hoping that Goon Moon was going kick ass live, just like Grinderman had done earlier this year.

When openers Sun Trash hit the stage, it was pretty obvious they (and the crowd) were going to have a good time. Led by Captain Sean of Throw Rag, they really rocked the house with their country-punk sound. Sean is like the love child of Willie Nelson and Glen Danzig, and a perfect front man for this group. He had non-stop energy up there, and had some pretty nice little one liners in between songs. Guitarist Lightnin' Bill Woodcock was playing a pretty mean guitar, and was switching off between country "twang" and punk rock, shredding constantly. Their slide-guitar player really rounded out their sound, and the percussion/stage antics of "Sexual Chocolate" (aka Damien Edwards of Crystal Antlers) fit the music of Sun Trash to a T. I was disappointed that they didn't play a longer set, but I very much enjoyed what I heard. Highlights were "Dead Batteries" and "Sour Cream."

If there was one way for Goon Moon to get the crowd in the right mind frame for their set, an incense pot with the fragrant smoke of Frankincense billowing from it placed at the center of the stage was it. Jeordie White (ex Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails) and company came out soon after the incense, and immediately hypnotized the crowd with their fuzzy, swirling goodness. If you have never heard the music of Goon Moon before, think of stoner rock with shoe-gazing guitars. It sounds great recorded, but even better in person. I really couldn't believe that they were able to take their music and give it another dimension live. "Apple Pie," "My Machine," "Pin Eyed Boy" and "Feel Like This," all off this yearís Lickerís Last Leg (Ipecac), sounded incredible. The music had so many layers, and the bizarre lyrics really sucked me into every song. Singer and guitar player Chris Goss (of Masters of Reality) has a very distinctive voice, and it really compliments the Goon Moon sound. Jeordie White switched off between bass and guitar with Fred Sablan, and also handled the vocals. If it wasn't for a rockin' cover of MM's "The Dope Show" (music written by White) you would not have know you were watching someone who was once with Manson. Everyone in the band had a great stage presence, and together they had the crowd in the palms of their hands, myself included. It's not often that I go to a show and come away impressed by every band that I saw, but that's exactly what happened at this show!