It gets off to a raucous start, and never really lets up. There might be only four songs here, but that works for it. Fifteen minutes tightly strung songs work together very well, and I'm unsure how well an album full of this stuff would work. Pressing play after this EP finishes is never a chore, but 50 minutes of similar material would undoubtedly grate.
The scratchily recorded vocals certainly add to its punk credibility. The high energy and (intentionally?) shabby production lend Moving Units a highly credible underground buzz. All of the songs here, especially opener "Between Us & Them", revolve around a swaggering bassline that wedges itself between your ears and refuses to budge.
"Between Us & Them" almost instantly surprises with a by-numbers guitar riff being rudely interrupted on the off-beat by a groovy rhythm section. It happily sets the scene for the EP. "X And Y", a song about sex, embraces the cheeky guitar riffs, throaty vocals, thunderous bass, and subject matter that form the basis of all four songs. "I Am" gives you the throwaway refrain "I am I am I am ordinary/I am I am I'm extraordinary" with obvious glee. The closer, "Melodrama", works around a chant of "Surrender" and yet another ridiculously funky bassline.
While the bass happily dominates all the songs, and it's easy to see Johan Bogeli's technical superiority over his bandmates, drummer Chris Hathwell and guitarist/vocalist Blake Miller happily buzz along and have a good time.
Despite having been together for only just over a year, the band members all play together fairly tightly. Touring solidly for a year with such fashionable contemporaries as Hot Hot Heat, The Datsuns, and Radio 4, who are an obvious comparison point, has likely helped in this point. In fact, their similarity to their peers is probably Moving Units biggest weakness. The aforementioned Radio 4, Liars and The Rapture all peddle a similar sound and Moving Units do little to stand out from the fray. To quote Miller; "We pride ourselves on an art form based on facsimile."
What's here is certainly enjoyable, especially for a fan of the genre. Possibly the most exciting thing about the band is that they've only been around for just over a year. Hopefully they'll mature and find their own sound, but for now, their songs are fun and anyone interested in their music should definitely give them a whirl.
With Hot Hot Heat:
25th March - Glasgow Barfly 0141 204 5700
26th March - Liverpool Barfly 0151 707 6171
27th March - London Barfly 020 7691 4244
28th March - Bristol Louisiana 0117 926 5978
29th March - Cardiff Barfly 0292 039 6589
(Tickets 5 in advance, except London & Bristol 6 in advance)
London headline shows:
31st March - Metro Oxford St. 020 7437 0964 (Tickets: 6)
1st April - Artrocker@Buffalo Bar 020 7359 6191 (Tickets: 4)