Slated for a September 4th release via Head2Wall Records, “Summer’s Fleeting Majesty”, the newest EP from Portland based emotive post hardcore act MOONKISSER (members of Over My Dead Body, Desperate Measures, and Young Turks) serves a conscious nod to riffy, 90s post-hardcore, and bands like Quicksand, Sense Field, and Farside, and makes its case eloquently, with natural and organic sounding delivery. Today, we’re stoked to give you its first full listen, along with a special track by track commentary, some new music tips and special list of Top Ten Records by great bands that deserve a fairer listen. Check it out below and get inspired!
This six-song, one-sided 12“ EP is exactly the enormous, post-hardcore follow-up to their debut you’ve been hoping for. While still packed with the almost uncanny, pummeling, resurrection of legendary Quicksand-style riffing, Summer’s Fleeting Majesty finds this Portland trio leaning hard into the same era’s West Coast interpretation of the genre. Incorporating previously only hinted at melodies and depth, it’s impossible not to be reminded of bands like Sense Field and Farside, but they do it with such fresh and honest eyes, and genuine emotional connection, that it never feels stale or recycled. This isn’t nostalgic or redolent, it’s evolution and progress.
Track by track commentary:
Crashing – I think this might have been in the first batch of songs written for this record. I’ll confess right now, there’s a direct rip off of the chord progression Johnny Marr plays in “How Soon is Now”, and to me, it sounds so obvious, but no one has been able to pick it out, so guess that’s good? Either way, this one came together pretty quickly
Summer – This one was one of those ones that started out with a riff that had a different feel before we got into it as a band, but I like where it went. It’s a good song for Summer 2020, in that it’s summer, but it’s not really summer,obviously the weather part is there, but it doesn’t have that carefree, fun feeling. Lots of doubt and uncertainty, which is wild, because this was written pre all this stuff.
Encounters – This one blew me away once I heard Mason’s vocal harmonies. This is one of those songs that the layers and the textures really make the song. This one sounded different as a practice recording, versus demo version, versus final recording. The vocals are a big part of the feel of this song, and Mason really shines.
Signals – One of those ones that came together pretty quickly, and was one of the few times I could hear the song in my head with the guitar layering. Of course, once I heard Mason’s vocal harmonies, I was blown away, it took the song to a different level.
Mindkiller – This was THE first song written for this record. Originally, the bridge was a bit spacier, I was thinking a bit more like the opening of Pink Floyd’s “On the Run” ( You may be hard pressed to find another straight edge person who loves Pink Floyd as much as I do), but it veered into the direction you hear it on the record. I had recorded a cool texture track for this when did the demo of this, and I thought it might be a bit indulgent, but Tommy was all for it, so it made it to the final version
A Life Without – Probably the second song written off this record, I think this might have been the first song finished. Once again, this is one of those ones where the guitar layering and the vocal harmonies really took it to another level.
Asked about their take on their production process, as well as the final effect, the band offered: “David Lindell, who did our first record and did such an incredible job, was the obvious choice for this one. David is a Punk first and foremost, but also into so much cool shit, so it was great to be a bit outside my comfort zone, guitar recording wise, and have him be super helpful, and be up for trying some stuff out. I think he actually did an even better job with this record than the last one, and I think part of the reason is David is so chill, he’s just down to make a good record, and have a good time doing it. Head to Wall is the label putting it out, and those two have been awesome to work with. Not anyone’s ideal situation to produce a record during a shutdown/pandemic, but those two were on it, and lots of times, we just talked about Walter Schriefels music when there weren’t updates to be had.”
“I’m not sure what the future holds tour wise, probably not any traditional touring for sure, but we’d love to do some shows in California, and would love to make it out to the east coast, as Tommy and I are from the mid atlantic and have a bunch of friends there. Definitely write and record more music. We cover a lot of ground, influence wise, but have a lot of common ground that writing music together is really fun due to the meanderings songs take on before they’re finished.”
Other bands worth checking out
“Just heard that Wiirmz demo, and was super impressed. Hard to pin down what’s going on, but fuck, it’s great.
The Dent Blue demo really impressed me. Sunstroke and Honeymoon put out amazing records recently that I feel were real high points. Hopefully we get a new Darklands record this year. Downward just put out a great two song 7″. Dry Socket just put out a great 7″, accomplishes the rare task of being aggro and catchy. Such much great music being made right now.”
Top Ten Records by great bands that deserve a fairer listen from people
1.Uniform Choice – Staring Into the Sun
This record is so good, and still gets dissed. It’s got the coolest UC song (A Wish To Dream), and Miles Ahead has that great whisper part. Dubar had a set of pipes and he wasn’t afraid to use them.
2. Unity- Blood Days
Much Like SITS, this is Unity deviating from the formula a bit, and writing some cool songs. “If you listen, I mean really listen, you’ll hear nothing, nothing at all”
3. Killing Time – Happy Hour
RIFFS RIFFS RIFFS. No, it’s not Brightside, but it’s still a rager
4. Stone Roses- Second Coming
This record slightly treads into some guitar center blues dad territory, but the lyrics and vocals really make this record shine
5. Dag Nasty- Four on the Floor
This record gets kicked around, but for my money, this has more of the Dag formula than Field Day. This has some great Brian Baker riffs, some good Smalley vocals, and Colin Sears playing the shit out of the drums
6. Judge- Storm II/There Will Be Quiet After The Storm/Whatever you call it
Forget this time is such a dope song. Mike’s lyrics are so burdened on this one, with that mix of introspection and aggression he perfected
7. Black Flag – I Can See You
This is the first Black Flag record I heard. It’s not my favorite, but, it’s weird and fucked up sounding. The cover illustration mixed with the album title always seems real wild to me as a youth. Later, when I found my favorite Black Flag record, side two of my war, that weird creepiness was put in further context.
8. TSOL- Beneath The Shadows/ Change Today?/ Revenge
I love that era of hardcore punk where bands got spooky, like the wanted to look like the Daggers from Thrashin’ went to a Sisters of Mercy concert. I know it’s three records, but they’re all great.
9. Middle Class- Homeland
Lots of people love that Out Of Vogue 7″, and sure, there’s a reason for that. I like this a lot more. This weird fucked up Devo meets Joy Division sound was just a bit before it’s time. If this record came out right now, it would be huge. Weird post punk that isn’t unapproachable
10. Quicksand – Interiors
This one really polarized people. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear I’m a total Walter fan. When this record came out, I loved it. Like some of the other records on this list, it isn’t on the same plane as the more seminal records from those respective bands, but in this case, I looked at it more like a mostly Walter record, with an amazing bass player and drummer. I’m down to go along for the ride with Walter as a songwriter. Same with his band Dead Heavens, I thought the music was well written, and Walter’s voice is really out of its element, but still fits, in the best way