The Moon, Cardiff, Sun 29 Apr
The recent Wylderness album launch gig introduced me to support band Los Blancos; tonight it’s the turn of their Libertino Records labelmates The Tates to fly the flag for Carmarthen as a hotbed of talent. There’s a strut and a sunny disposition about their easy-on-the-ear indie, which is infused with 1980s electro pop and fluid, funky basslines to create a sound not unlike that of Metronomy or The Drums. Bonus points for there being no keytar, but it’s probably only a matter of time before there is.
The self-titled debut LP from LA’s Moaning – which is out on Sub Pop, guitarist/vocalist Sean Solomon mentions (well, you would, wouldn’t you?) – suggests that they too are big fans of the ’80s. The reference points are rather different, though: Mission Of Burma on the one hand and The Cure on the other. The superlative trio of singles that kick off the album – Don’t Go, Tired and Artificial – take the former band’s punk dynamics and dress them up in glossy black clothing. Live, though, the songs are unceremoniously defrocked, revealed in their pre-production nakedness to be snarling, feral beasts with no table manners. As such, Moaning suddenly bear a closer resemblance to fellow LA natives No Age, and the fact that they’re currently on tour with Canadian noise-rock troupe Metz makes more sense.
Considering that Moaning are performing here on what is nominally a day off, Cardiff’s ingratitude is embarrassing. Confronted by a largely empty venue, Solomon nevertheless looks on the bright side: “Thanks for being here. It’s very intimate. I like it.” He’s not interested in the hard sell, either, candidly announcing that the band are “already sick” of the album by way of introducing a new song. Perhaps next time they visit, in support of their second LP, the city will be more appreciative.
words BEN WOOLHEAD photos NOEL GARDNER