With songs about porn, some childish cover art and an unfortunate choice of name, the odds of Billy Moon would appear, on the face it, to be limited to a teenage audience. Which just shows how wrong you can be because the recently-graduated Mr. Moon has an understanding of great hooks and respects the forefathers of punk and garage.
So ‘Young Adult.’ ostensibly stands up for old school rock values yet there’s an exciting edge to this band which makes them stand out from the opposition. It’s in the chugging rhythms and riffs which propel blustering opener ‘Kalashnikov’ and it’s also in Moon’s own sneering vocals. Wherever you look, the intensity and power is there for all to see. A punkier ‘Bad Kids’ may doff its cap to The Beastie Boys’ ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)’ but pushes all the right distortion buttons and never seems to come up for air, whilst a similarly breathless ‘King Of The Sun’ resembles a more youthful version of The Walkmen. Meanwhile, ‘Video Girls’ may have a dubious theme but the underlying message (fuelled by a mixture of addiction and self-loathing) is an interesting one and the song itself is as infectious and hooky as you can hope for. Rather worryingly, the last track ‘The Days Are Just Packed’ may threaten to turn into J. Geils Band’s ‘Centrefold’ at certain points but thankfully veers away (and brutally so) just in time.
With a similar-named and equally retro-themed New Zealander courting publicity right now, Billy Moon may consider themselves victims of unfortunate timing in one respect. Yet on the flipside of the coin, their own aggressive, back to basics approach pays thrilling dividends and will serve a need for those with a taste for something more raw and visceral.
Billy Moon Bandcamp
The Walkmen, The Clash, Blag’ard