Album Review: Moon Bandits “Action Changes Thinking”

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If you and your wilderness hiking group are looking for the next album to take as you seek out nature, here it is!

The California duo of Moon Bandits on “Action Changes Thinking” moan out ten tracks, clocking in at a little under a half hour.   Astrid on violin and Tommy on banjo, both sing (with Paul also joining for the first track, “Burn it Down”), and keep up a steady sound from the first beats until the end.  Entirely acoustic, no one song stands out in sound or tempo- everything here from start to finish is crunchy vegan straightedge granola.

Tracks like “Speaker and the Chairman” sound like something out of the 1960’s. With too many words smushed into too few notes, the band is unabashedly political and left leaning, singing out “If prohibition was such a good idea, why did it only last 12 years?”  However, just like the criticisms of the hippie of years gone past, the songs decry a need for change and idealistically fails to mention how to actually change anything at all.

Something about “Action Changes Thinking” sounds so organic, it’s almost chaotic. “From the Windows of Your Home” or “Revolutions Personal” have Astrid and Tommy singing in almost unison- yet one singer always seems a tiny bit off in timing from the other. Intentional or not, this fluid relationship with the lyrics makes everything seem more bare, more honest, and more heartfelt. The urgency is heightened by the overall musically quality; The violins and banjos are simple here, and no one song has the artists stretching to create overly complex rhythms. Similarly, the vocals are in places almost spoken word.

Overwhelmingly kind, tracks like “Southwest to Northwest” proudly proclaim “you help the world to know that there’s more to life than cars and bars and we appreciate all that you do in your life …we fucking love you.”  It seems Moon Bandits are completely okay with making feel-good music, with an organic eco-friendly message.

I’m sure someone out there, who actually goes outdoors for fresh air, will adore this anachro-punk folk release. The Moon Bandits next tour of the NE starts April 6th. Visit here for dates and locations.

2/5 Stars



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