THEY WATCH US FROM THE MOON – COSMIC CHRONICLES, ACT 1: THE ASCENSION
LABEL: New Heavy Sounds
RELEASE: May 12th, 2023
AUTHOR: Paul Hutchings
01. On The Fields Of The Moon
02. Space Angel
03. Mother Of All Bastards
04. Creeper A.D.
05. Return To Earth
It’s rare that an album stops you in your tracks. Metaphorically speaking of course. This has happened to me whilst listening to the debut album from US outfit THEY WATCH US FROM THE MOON. It might have something to do with my partiality to a bit of the stoner/doom/psych style that the band deliver. Their expansive approach, with the lead vocals of Luna Nemeses that hang over the gargantuan riffs the band expel, works fabulously.
There’s not calm introduction to the album, just a huge riff that leads into “On The Fields Of The Moon”. A mesmerising journey that is as beguiling as it is enchanting, the thickness of the band’s sound combined with an almost middle eastern sample draws you in deep. It’s a chamber from which you may never escape.
This isn’t a short, snappy trip. The songs are expansive, organic and flow with a pleasing relaxed vibe. The band work in harmony with each other, the big sound essential to their driving tempo. “Space Angel” intoxicates with its sludgy, doom-soaked approach. Intertwined with the band’s music is the science fiction themes that you can explore at your leisure. If you are intrigued by the band’s name and the meanings behind it, you can find out more at our interview with the band’s singers Luna Nemeses and Nova 1001001.
“Mother Of All Bastards” is the shortest track at 6:40 and has its origins in previous releases “Mother Of All Bongs” (single released in 2019) and “M.O.A.B.” which was the first track on the 2020 “Moon Doom” EP. It showcases the harmonies of singers Luna Nemeses and Nova 1001001 to great effect. This leads to two quite astonishing pieces of work. Over 11 minutes long, the songs have pieces of radio broadcast weaved intricately through them, providing the commentary that supports the vast swathes of instrumental exploration. First up is “Creeper AD” which is a meandering, sonic exploration of some magnitude. It’s followed by the equally lengthy “Return To Earth”. Both tracks feature some magnificent lead guitar work from R. Benjamin Black. Indeed, the collective musicianship is at times intoxicating. Such is the position on the final song, the spellbinding magic of “Return To Earth”. Its heady mix of driving riff with a slower tempo really transports you to another dimension.
“Cosmic Chronicles, Act I: The Ascension” is a fantastic listen. It’s a little more refined and structured than many of the Kansas band’s peers. If you like huge cinematic soundscapes with a psychedelic and shoegaze varnish, then THEY WATCH US FROM THE MOON need to be on your radar.