Everyone’s relationship to music is different, but one I’ve come to realize a lot during the pandemic is how often my brain craves certain very specific styles. Be it metalcore, synthwave, tech-death, grunge, etc., my mind seems to have neurons that fire from very distinct neuronal connections that require particular musical tastes to satiate my brain’s aural hunger. That said, now that life is opening up, and I’ve been able to share time with others, this messed up cranium is now drifting toward even more specific tastes (horror punk, nu-djentcore, post-melodeath), and so it’s the perfect time for Old Moon to eclipse my weekly listening habits.
On their debut, Altars, the one-man band from Tom Weir offer up an excellent dose of what I call Gen X Haze. Mixing elements of grunge, shoegaze, post-punk, goth, and jangle pop, few records scream 1991 quite like this one. Old Moon refuse to fit neatly into a classic stylistic box; yet, everything about Altars perfectly conjures up images of live shows in small town basement bars thirty years ago (I refuse to believe ’91 was three decades ago, but alas time cares not for my aging feelings).
Old Moon’s sonic aura is all about just that – conveying a sense of style and haze that feels like a dimly-lit neon dream. It’s blissfully easy to get swept up in the gorgeous atmosphere that Weir masterfully wields here, humming along and dreaming of amp-shaped clouds. The edges of riffs, beats, and melodies do occasionally feel rounded off, which as the album’s only complaint, renders individual songs less memorable than the whole of this 8-track album. This is allayed by the fact that Altars is a short and efficient half-hour, and a host of great little touches are revealed through repeat listens. I particularly recommend spinning the record during an early morning or late evening walk, as the limited sunlight and cooler temperatures are a perfect accompaniment to the record’s windswept ideals.
Fans of anything with gaze, post, or jangle in a music tag should get on this record post-haste.
Order the album at this location.