In their own way, Raime’s Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead have been turning the ideas of genre on its head for some time now.
Whilst still flipping the script, this time perhaps it’s their most audacious bid yet as Moin, who after two EPs last decade arrive with their debut album, Moot!
When showcasing artistic crossovers or slamming down that reset button, many artists toss the guitars aside for the weird and wonderful world of electronica and experimentation. Not Moin, who have gone the other way in what is one of the most invigorating guitar-based albums of the year so far.
With bruising chord sequences that echo Fugazi and the trailblazing mind fuckery of Polvo, generally with such a vicious one-two punch you’d arrive at Unwound. But it’s 2021, and Moin are here to not only fill the vacuum but bust the seal on it, leaving us all in a dusty wake.
Granted, Moin do make the kind of sounds that are contaminated with the sinister poisoned skies Unwound once functioned under. However, the London collective have shifted the markers set down by such ’90s touchstones and that’s indicative from the first moments of opening track, No to Gods, No to Sunsets.
The militant percussion assault courtesy of drummer, Vanishing Twin’s Valentina Magaletti, a long time collaborator with Raime and touring member, doesn’t just add to the sonic arsenal of Moin; it’s the band’s most decisive weapon, overshadowing the skittish mess and twisted-metal noise created by Andrews and Halstead.
Together, it’s glorious to say the least, with the pick of litter from Moot! being Right Is Alright, Wrong Is to Belong; a cookie cutter bursting with nerve-jangling intensity, comprising of sounds that are both fresh and ambiguous to the ear.
Following the perilous furrows of Crappy Drams Count and Don’t Make Me Wait, the metallic sounds of Tweez-era Slint during Lungs and An Utter Stink continue the towering grooves that are so decisive, they form something that is just plain hypnotic. The riffs during the two latter cuts feel dangerous, like shards and splinters from an exploding weatherboard house.
While Unwound found psychedelia within the fissures of post-hardcore, Moin certainly expand on that idea via their own voyages through the hazy high seas, with kraut-rock and Raime’s glitch-y electronica being tossed into this hazardous invention that could well be defined as post-rock. Look no further than I Can’t Help But Melt and the moaning riffs that culminate the record in It’s Never Goodbye.
Post-rock or not, Moot! is undoubtedly a record inspired by escapism. Not in its purest sense, but here Moin switch off the communications and go off-grid, blissfully ignorant to the outer-world surroundings. That’s the only way an album like this gets made. By blocking out the noise in order to make a unique one. With Moot!, Moin have done just that.
Moot! is out now via AD 93. Purchase from Bandcamp.