Moaning about dark times
2020 has been a wild ride and even though most people are separated during this time, music connects us. Moaning just released their second album Uneasy Laughter, a title that probably is more relatable than ever. The album sounds a lot like Joy Division in the 21st century.
Dark synthpop sets the tone of the album and “Ego,” the first track, demonstrates it perfectly. It is a song on the god complex some people seem to have. The guitar sounds are heavy and powerful. But they get topped by the gloomy electric sound of “Make it Stop,” a song that, probably by accident, fits perfectly to the situation of the world right now. With grunge elements and depressing lyrics, the song could find itself playing in a goth club, but it works also to play while watching the news.
A little interlude connects “Make it Stop” with “Stranger.” The vocals feel almost uninterested and bored, but that works out fine with the feeling the song presents. “Running” has pretty strong The Cure vibes. It is nice to know the sound is still alive today. The line, “you’re running from something you just imagine,” summarizes anxiety perfectly. “Connect the Dots” combines a rather floating sound with dark elements, that are able to give the listener goosebumps. “Fall in Love” is another song that has Goth-club-quality. The beat is catchy and the line “if we fall in love/ I lose you” is a depressing but quite beautiful combination with the sound.
“Coincidence or Fate” starts off a little more on the pop -side but the guitar sounds shredder it to pieces and the song gets overwhelmed with sound and the emotion the instruments bring with it. “What Separates Us” starts out pretty depressing and it doesn’t get cheerful. But this is no surprise, the album is a mixture of depressing thoughts. The album features another short interlude and moves on with “Keep Out,” a song’s beginning almost feels like a mantra. At this point, the album sounds a little repetitive, “Saving Face” and is a solid song, but doesn’t offer anything new. “Say Something” the last track, could be a soundtrack for a dark ’80s sci-fi movie.
There is maybe no better time to release such an album. Uneasy Laughter’s themes about mental health are more important than ever. The dark tone speaks to a lot of people who are scared about the world right now. The songs are not really different from each other, but they all are great if you feel lost and confused. Life is uncertain and Uneasy Laughter might help us through it.