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We Landed On The Moon
These Little Wars
(self-released)
www.welandedonthemoon.com


We Landed On The Moon would make a good title for a documentary on the Discovery Channel about Neil Armstrong's historic journey to be the first man to set foot on the Moon. But in this case, We Landed On The Moon is a modern melodic rock band fronted by female vocalist Melissa Eccles. This may not make WLOTM historic in their mission, but it is so good to hear a band that feels inspired to make songs with melodic rock clips and ambient-pop cinders stoked by a pop punk flint. The band's latest release, These Little Wars, holsters undulating swells, swirling space rock synths and whipping guitar slashes which moderate the rush of ripples and sonic tears, while Eccles moves her vocals with the prowess of a matador wielding his cape to provoke the bull and slipping around the animal's charges. The band's timing is tight and perceptive, and their melodic layers are well-fortified with vocals that surf the knolls like a pro athlete.

Softcore punk jaunts like "Notes On A Scandal" and "Golden Child" are plastered in pop punk-infused crests and melodic rock ramparts. The guitar riffs cling to the rises and falls of the rhythmic strokes showing an ambient-jeweled esthetic relatable to the UK's Soho Dolls. The quivering beats and sudsy guitar ripples of "Re: Your Letter" show gusto and brawn in their pop punk shards, while "Come On Keep It Quiet" is more pliable in its squishy rhythmic pumps and shuffling cymbal strikes. Eccles' vocals are a perfect fit with this combination as her voice brightens to a natural high singing, "It's a new and lovely world."

Other tracks are glazed in a space rock film like "Solitaire" and "Vietcong" which have reflections of Radiohead, though it's the band's rattling punk-induced beats and spangled ambient atmospherics that shower through "The Night Was Open" and "Something New", bringing out the band's greatest strengths. The band does dive into a ballady ode in "Happy Accidents" which shows a kindred likeness to Australia's Delta Goodrem and Sarah Blasko, though WLOTM has a tendency to lean towards mid-tempo numbers which keep them and the listener up on their feet. Eccles' vocals are soft and steely, which suits the shimmering melodic layers perfectly.

We Landed On The Moon has a touch of space rock that you may expect from a band with such a moniker, but you may not expect the pop punk shivers and rippling melodic rock seams. These Little Wars won't make them any enemies, but it should definitely make them plenty more friends.

-Susan Frances

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