To celebrate the release of their self-titled new album, Moondling played Our Wicked Lady with support from Brooklyn's very own Locations.
If there's one thing that always seems to be true about going to see the band Locations, it's that they somehow seem to get louder with each show so in some ways it was perfect that the setting for this was a roof top in Bushwick because they would've blown the roof off of whatever indoor space they were playing. Operating as a guitar and drum duo, the pair effortlessly maneuver between solid grooves of blistering rock and thundering rhythms that hit with punishing levels of volume as their dueling vocals lock together for some pretty heavy moments. Always backed with a political message, their intense passion for social justice and change is almost as much a part of their show as their musical themes and their skill to weave together the two makes for an almighty experience of in your face demand for action. Their latest tunes from their recent EP Stop the Money explode on stage as the chemistry between drummer Tom Whidden and guitarist Niko Rummell skyrockets with total force. "Good Ole Same Ole" and "Taxman" really get the crowd hyped and as they bid farewell to their cover of Tool's "Schism" it was a bittersweet moment as their love for the track is apparent every time they take the stage. Dishing out such power and energy really brought the bar to a new height and showcased the band's extreme talents making for a killer start to the night.
Playing their first show since February of 2020, the newly revised trio of Moondling took to the stage to devote a large part of their set to their new record, a post-emo concept album that brings out a frenetic energy and howling vocals over brooding melodies and sinister rhythms. Finding the sweet spot between the chaos of metal and the urgency and technicality of math rock, the band melds their sound into something that feels like an encapsulation of bands from the late '90s and early 2000s like Elliott or American Football with the dexterity of post-metal band Sanhett. Their songs ebb and flow with purpose, the carefully intertwined guitar and bass all anchored by varied drumming that loosely keeps the band reigned in while still letting things surge in all the right places. New song "Rough House" really let the band flex their muscles while older songs sounded fresh as ever and fit in nicely with their latest tunes. Guitarist Andy Werle's finger-tapping was top-notch throughout the night and his solos did as much to enhance each song without taking full control or leading the band astray while Nick Otte's rich vocal work added more nuance and layers without polarizing the sound, his tone matching that of his bandmate's at every move. The band was fully locked in to their groove from the onset of the night and never let go of their fierce grip. There was immense promise from the band, especially given the length between their last show, and riding high on the glory of their new record found the band operating in prime position to keep their energy bubbling over. Ending with the oldest song in their catalogue, the three members looked elated to be on stage together again playing songs that seem to bring them and the audience real joy. The rise and resurgence of emo music can often be met with mixed reception, but Moondling look to shake up those who may balk at the term and prove that the genre still has plenty to say and their new album is ready to do the talking.