Dark and Brooding Debut
Lost In Love And Fear is the debut album of London based four piece Dark Moon and an ambitious body of work it is. The fact that it was recorded live and directly onto tape is perfectly in keeping with the bands retro styling and does help to give it something of an organic feel.
That it opens with a track which is anything but catchy is to be applauded; it sets the tone for what is to follow, that being an uncompromising, dark and at times bleak musical journey.
Dark Moon are hard work at times but you get the feeling that they want to be. This is challenging and exploratory music that demands multiple listens, whether you like it or not. There is something to be worked out here, an understanding that the listener needs to come to in order or it all to make sense...maybe.
The guitars are bluesy psyche, the vocals of Lola Ulalume low and engaging and the rhythm section of bass and drums consistently hypnotic. At times it drops into a real groove, on tracks such as I Walk On Guilded Splinters and there are other times like on I Fly where they do let a catchy melody come out to play. What works for this record is the fact that it never fades into the background, it demands your attention and every time you think it might be pulling you into some kind of trance, something happens that shakes you right out of it again. In that respect it's a tough listen at times, occasionally irritating but it never lasts and that's the key. By the time you think you have worked out why that happened it's history and the band have moved on.
When the songs don't stray too far from the opening structure, Samsara for example, the interest wanes slightly but even then the tracks aren't long enough to lose the listener. The stand out track is probably Blackbird but really it's an album that needs to be listened to in its entirety.
Whilst not as catchy as (seemingly defunct) hook laden contemporaries Purson, it is undoubtedly psychedelic and should appeal to those looking for something a bit different. It has a raw edge that captures that late 60s, early 70s vibe and there will be times, probably late at night, where this album ticks all the right boxes and everything makes sense. Of course that will be lost in the morning and you'll have to start all over again.