Wymond Miles – Under The Pale Moon

I really like this LP, despite its hangdog air and despite it being nothing new or hip or “with it”, daddy-oh. It’s just got good songs, well presented and convincingly sung. Surely that’s enough?

 

(Sacred Bones Records) http://www.konkurrent.nl

Under the title on the sleeve, we are told that this is “An LP Recorded in 2011”…. that long ago? What a pessimistic view Wymond Miles must have of the listener’s perception of time if he feels we need to know this – but maybe he’s right. Under The Pale Moon is a record that feels totally out of time, certainly out of synch with what’s around but it’s no worse for that. Essentially this is standard underground guitar rock, with an angsty twist: it looks back to the likes of Tom Verlaine and Peter Murphy (or even Felt when Maurice was playing guitar, as in Badlands) – and while it’s by no means anything you haven’t heard before in terms of sound it’s got a lot of character that eventually hooks you in. It ain’t what you do… It’s a maudlin record at times, but strangely enervating nonetheless. Seemingly about standing up against the vicissitudes of fate, a lot of the music has big, doomy chord changes, wide open spaces in which you can mope about in, and the odd moment, (as in Run Like The Hunted and The Thirst), where you can snarl along to in a sense of righteous indignation.

It's oddly familiar... Strange Desire is a sleepwalking China Girl – and the title track is slightly Gothy a bit like something Peter Murphy could have done in a spare moment. There are some magnificent torch songs here too; Trapdoors and Ladders is a suitably thespian ending to the LP, whilst Singing The Ending is a brilliant song, a gloomy synth and a chiming guitar break backdrop a downbeat soliloquy. Topping both, Youth’s Lonely Wilderness is possibly the LP’s signature piece; a spiralling riff, endowed with just the right amount of fuzzy warmth propels a romantic lecture of sorts by Miles. Other highlights are the Gothy waltz of You And I Are of The Night, and Lazarus Rising, a fine exponent of a sort of restless, driving melancholia.

I really like this LP, despite its hangdog air and despite it being nothing new or hip or “with it”, daddy-oh. It’s just got good songs, well presented and convincingly sung. Surely that’s enough?