Moonwagon are an instrumental band from Finland formed in 2008. The band members are Ami Hassinen (keyboards), Jani Korpi (drums, percussion), Joni Tiala (guitars) and Janne Ylikorpi (bass). Before receiving their second album Foyers Of The Future (2012) to review for Background Magazine, I wasn't familiar with Moonwagon's music and logically neither with their debut album Night Dust (2011).
I would like to call the music on Foyers Of The Future a mixture of reggae, progressive, psychedelic, straightforward and space rock. Throughout the album the songs are mainly dominated by keyboards and guitars. Both have a large role in creating the atmosphere in each song, and many solos are performed on both instruments. On most tracks the rhythm section plays a strong groove which prevents you from sitting quietly in your chair. Occasionally the bass guitar takes over the lead and performs some nice solo parts. Sometimes I've got the feeling that a composition starts as a kind of jam. However, they never lose control and keep things together before falling over the edge. Therefore the melodies are a rather important element in order to keep you focussed.
Compared to the second half of the album, the first half is more laid-back and mellow. During the first half most tracks start very slow and relaxed. When the tracks continue they get more powerful. The string synthesizers and Mellotron samples often create a progressive rock sound on which you can dream away. Moonwagon's music is completely instrumental, but nevertheless the compositions are quite interesting. All tracks are adventurous and contain enough variety to prevent you from taking the disc out of your CD player. I found it difficult to compare them to other bands and therefore I won't mention any names.
With Foyers Of The Future Moonwagon recorded a strong second album which I can highly recommend to those who enjoy a strong musical mixture of reggae, progressive, psychedelic, straightforward and space rock. Let's hope that Moonwagon will continue to write strong instrumental pieces on their forthcoming albums!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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