REVIEW: Luna: Close Cover Before Striking EP
Luna: Close Cover Before Striking EP [Jetset, 2002] (old mp3s)
Three words? enigmatic downer rock
I felt somewhat out of my league having to comment on Luna's not-so-new EP, Close Cover Before Before Striking. Consisting entirely of covers and rare tracks, it seemed awkward to pass judgment given the little I know about Luna, b-sides, or otherwise. Still, rather than load my hard drive with Luna mp3s and fake some indie cred, I decided to dive into this CD with my limited ("limited" meaning "non-existent") Luna knowledge.
Even if you are not a die-hard Luna fan, there is a lot to love here. The opener "Astronaut" is a nicely sweeping affair - oscillating guitar and singer Dean Wareham's cryptic lyrics about pentagrams and sedatives. "Teenage Lightning" has Luna stripping away the digital effects with lovely consequences - the resulting song is reminiscent of Transformer-era Lou Reed. And "The Alibi" and "New Haven Comet," if not groundbreaking or daring, make for some very pleasant leisurely-paced rock.
Only two of Close Cover's seven songs are disappointments. By far, the worst is "Waiting on a Friend." A paint-by-numbers cover of the worst Rolling Stones song ever, the track is especially disheartening given Luna's closing cover of Kraftwerk's "Neon Lights": a far more interesting cover choice, and an infinitely more creative song interpretation. The lesser-of-two-evils is the instrumental "Drunken Whistler," which is less bad and more forgettable, lacking substance without Wareham's vocals.
Close Cover Before Before Striking is a strong contribution and should be instantly added to the collection of anyone who already loves Luna. So too can it serve as a starting point for those of us previously ignorant to the beauty of Luna. So it was for me.