[Review] Moonwagon – The Efficient Use Of Space

Moonwagon is a Finnish band formed in 2008 that offers Space Rock and Progressive sounds, with reminiscences of the 70s, whose members come from previous experiences with other bands. The new album “The Efficient Use Of Space” was released on February 25, 2022 via Presence Records and contains 10 medium to long length tracks. The opener “Banzai Boogie” begins with layered and enveloping voices and then develops a frenetic rhythm session with driving bass lines. The guitar immediately stands out with a good solo insert, while the song is constantly evolving with engaging riffs and a solid sound full of tempo changes. A track focused on duets between guitar and retro-style keyboards and an always tight rhythm, immediately immersing us in the sound of the disc. The following “Far Apart” has a more enveloping sound, with the classic Space pressing drumming and good textures and interweaving between guitar and space keyboards. The bass lines are deep and load-bearing giving body to the rhythmic session, with the piece slowly developing in the first part. With the entry of the vocal it assumes more progressive connotations, while maintaining its Space acoustic characteristics, a good blend between the various genres and the old style sounds with the more modern ones. “Waiting for Tomorrow” is characterized by an introductory part with hints of Jazz, and then accelerates to the 2 minutes with a change of tempo. A killer bass-line characterizes the body of the piece, a pressing and elaborate drumming allow the guitar to develop virtuous solo inserts that intertwine with the keyboards. The track is enriched by continuous tempo changes and technical plots, which counterbalance the spatial openings typical of the band’s sound with electronic hints in the keyboards. With more dreamy and progressive features, “Left Dangling” presents softer and more symphonic sounds, with a delicate rhythmic session. The guitar takes the stage with a good solo insert in the central part, and then in the second part it develops on harder and more intricate sounds, ending with a crescendo. Following the softer sounds of the previous “Neverending Sky” it is characterized by a first part with expanded keyboard sounds. In the central part with a change the intensity increases and the guitar offers another good solo, mixing Space and Prog traits with the personal touch of the band and with Symphonic traits. “Strange Encounters” is an interlude of 1:52 minutes with the most cosmic sounds, with extensive use of synths and an enveloping and pressing atmosphere in drumming. The synth is the protagonist of the melodies of “Nights of Neon,” with a supporting bass line and a solid and elaborate drumming to which we add sharp guitar inserts. the guitar offers a prolonged solo in the central part that intertwine with the keyboards that give a spatial touch to the sound. “Northern Secrets” features a darker sound with deep bass lines and guitar arpeggios with solid and ever-changing drumming. The most prog traits of the band are highlighted with dreamy feel-ins and continuous tempo changes, also enhancing the individual technique of the artists involved. The longest track of the album “Smoke & Mirrors” which exceeds 10 minutes in duration, it mixes all the traits that distinguish the band. Constant time changes, intricate textures and more enveloping passages, with marked references to the Space Rock of the 70s and your own personal touch that come together to create an engaging track. All the long playing time of the piece is used to develop the theme, with refined and original passages and sounds, good. The album closes with “Orbits” a softer and more intricate track, with deep bass lines and forays into Fusion, creating a dark and spatial atmosphere. The percussion in the background gives body to the rhythm, on which spatial sounds develop that catapult us into the depths of the cosmos. A good album that confirms how this band has quality techniques and ideas, managing to bring the 70s Space Rock atmosphere to the present day with a personal touch. By mixing Prog and Space traits, this listening is full of interesting ideas, well composed and executed, enhancing the band’s technique. A listening recommended for lovers of Space Rock sounds, with forays into Prog, full of elaborate and technical passages.

Tracklist

01. Banzai Boogie (5:41)
02. Far Apart (8:44)
03. Waiting for Tomorrow (8:01)
04. Left Dangling (4:58)
05. Neverending Sky (5:31)
06. Strange Encounters (1:52)
07. Nights of Neon (5:13)
08. Northern Secrets (5:30)
09. Smoke & Mirrors (10:40)
10. Orbits (5:48)

Lineup

Joni Tiala / Guitars, Synthesizer, Piano, Theremin, Lead Vocals
Janne Ylikorpi / Bass, Bass Pedals, Synthesizer
Jani Korpi / Drums & Percussion, Electronic Drum Pad, Voice

Moonwagon |Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Presence Records |Official Website|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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