It seems that T Rex is having something of a comeback in 2007. What with the debut album by Ninja Tune's Pop Levi and now this - David Vandervelde's The Moonstation House Band. It has all the folk-slide 70's warmth-sleaze of the much missed Bolan but that being said it's still a fine listen. It's a brief introduction, weighing in at just over half an hour, but my appetite is certainly moistened.
In the traditions of the music it aims to emulate Vandervelde has created a concept album of sorts. Much like Bowies fictitious Spiders From Mars, this album is the sound of the mythical Moonstation House Band - a Lonely Hearts Club Band for the naughties. At least 90% of the record is Vandervaldt himself - and at the young age of 22 this is some piece of work. By consciously setting out to recapture the spirit and sound of his dad's 70's records, Vandervelde has managed to strip away all the bravado that came with this music. The camp, glam shenanigans have gone and what remains is crisp musicianship and classic melodies.
Nothin' No drifts in on a haze of woolly guitars and blissed-out vocals telling stories of "gettin' high on your front porch." It has a wonderfully nostalgic feeling to it. It's like squinting in the evening sun as you strain to see a memory long passed. Jacket picks up the pace a bit and has all the rhythmical catchiness and effortless melody of classic Bowie. Corduroy Blues is a sublime piece of orchestral delight while Can't See Your Face No More is a foot stomping anthem that if put to the closing credits to any movie would have the audience leaving the cinema on a high.
It's hard to write about this album and not dwell on the wealth of influences that have made it happen, but at no point does it hide behind these influences or collapse under them. The music oozes warmth - whether its the mid-afternoon blaze of the up-tempo tracks or the early evening haze of the slower ones it washes over you in hypnotic waves. After the lazy, peaceful close of the final track Moonlight Instrumental you feel like the lights have just been turned out on another glorious day in the sun. A day that had it all, laughter, tears, joy and pain but as you gently drift off to sleep you feel excited at what tomorrow has in store.