Mike Davidson

13:51 23rd September 2003
Mooney Suzuki
Razor sharp and finally honed tonight, it shouldn't be long before The Moonies shake off the tag of Liverpool's best kept secret. A breeze of confidently delivered power pop and sun kissed melodies, it's that unabashed, GENUINE youthful exuberance, however, that remains there truly endearing quality. With twice the charm and tunes of their no-mark American peers ('Record Store' in particular should have a real resonance to The Mooniesany wannabee dreaming of fame and glory), it would be a shame if The Moonies continue to be overlooked due to the music press's overtly Cosmic Scouse gaze. Dedicating a note perfect 'Ever Fallen In Love With Someone' to Pete Shelley (the band recently supported The Buzzcocks on their UK Tour), if there's any justice 'We Are The Moonies' should be replacing 'Who The Fuck Are The Moonies' as the slogan for there monthly club night!

After having their gear nicked by a scally chancer, you could understand if Philadelphia's Capitol Years were to take the stage and deliver an indifferent, lack lustre set. But thankfully, for a strangely sparse and un-enthused crowd, their 'pissed off-ness' manifest's itself in a sensational set that draws heavily on your' staple classics (The Rolling Stones/The Who/Dylan) before twisting the knife on a tried and tested formula - a'la White Stripes - to reveal something refreshingly unique. Think Urge Overkill's 'Saturation' or the bastardised blues of Royal Trux delivered with a chaotic rock n'roll energy for reference points, as over half an hour they provide solid proof as to why 'Jewelry Store' (Full Frame/Poor Poor Records) should be an essential part of your record collection. For more information on the Capitol Capitol YearsYears, go to www.capitolyears.com.

"We're better than The Ramones, we're better than the Velvet Underground" (Sammy James Junior - Singer & Rhythm Guitarist - The Mooney Suzuki). One thing you can't accuse The Mooney Suzuki of is modesty, such is their claim to being the No. 1, no ifs, no buts. From the evangelical zeal of their preacher like frontman through to the giant foam fingers handed out during the encore, there is an unmistakable triumphalism to everything that these native New Yorkers (yes sireee, another one...) do. But do they have the tunes and performance to back up all the bluster and bravado? Well yes and no? 'Electric Sweat' (taken from the album with the same name recently re-released on Columbia Records) certainly packs a hi-NRG Northern Soul punch whilst 'Oh Suzanna' struts confidently like Sticky Fingers era Stones. But, despite the strength of this couplet, other tracks culled from the album and the entertaining posturing that finally raises the crowd from its slumbers, there's still the nagging question as to whether this really add's anything significant to the recent canon of inspired New York releases from The Strokes, Interpol, The Rapture, The Liars and Radio 4. Cool, theatrical and immensely entertaining, in the live arena, however, there should always be a place for The Mooney Suzuki.

Photos by Sakura Henderson :: sakura@gigwise.com

More about: