Moonface at Red 7

After the Jonathan Richman show last Friday night that was extremely delayed (more on that tomorrow), I still had time to make my way up the street and get into Red 7 just as Spencer Krug’s (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown) new band Moonface finished setting the stage and were ready to kick off their set. Krug has changed projects with great frequency in the last decade, and it’s hard to believe he already has two albums as Moonface, the most recent being With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery, a collaboration with Siinai, a Finnish rock group that would act as Krug’s backing band for the night.

The five-piece band, fronted by Krug possessed a pulsing and somber energy that can’t be called outwardly energetic, rather it emitted a captivating internal intensity. Moonface made good use of sonic texture, involving synths, keys, and ambient noise. At the end of their epic opener, “Headed for the Door,” Krug held up a book and began to read aloud onstage as the onslaught of instrumentation swirled around him. On that song, and throughout the set, the drums relied heavily on timpani, packing a powerful and commanding punch with their driving rhythm.

Onstage, Krug comes across as relaxed, frequently wearing a slight smirk, one side of his mouth curling into the beginning of a smile. However, this demeanor frequently breaks into a more serious furrowed brow when songs reach emotional intensity and clamor. For all their noise and carefully textured chaos, the songs remain amazingly accessible through subtle melody and beats that kept the audience moving, swaying, and lurching in rhythmic jolts all evening, between their conversations that revealed their status as true Krug believers. All signs indicate that Krug is the kind of musician who won’t ever stop. His creative ideas seem inspired by a spirit world that moves in him when it will, inspiring a new direction or collaboration. Moonface is the simply the most recent vehicle for Krug’s musical spirit which is as creatively inspired and as strange as always.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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