Release Date: Mar 24, 2017
Record label: Transgressive
The Moonlandingz may have started their life as a fictional band, but one spin of their 2017 album Interplanetary Class Classics shows they have more life coursing through their veins than 99. 9% of all the "real" bands out there. When the Eccentronic Research Council needed to concoct a band for their 2015 album Johnny Rocket, Narcissist & Music Machine.
As the phrase goes, the truth is stranger than fiction. And they don’t come much stranger than The Moonlandingz. They originally began as a fictional band, the subject of the Eccentronic Research Council‘s 2015 album, Johnny Rocket, Narcissist and Music Machine…I’m Your Biggest Fan. The album told the tale of Johnny Rocket, lead singer of The Moonlandingz, and his obsessed stalker, played by Maxine Peake.
If The Moonlandingz sometimes seem so ludicrous it feels like they've stepped from of the pages of a particularly surreal story, it's because they have. Starting life in the imagination of Sheffield experimental outfit Eccentronic Research Council, they were the fictional band at the centre of their 2012 concept album 'Johnny Rocket, Narcissist, & Music Machine… I'm Your Biggest Fan' narrated by actress Maxine Peake, who introduced them as "a cosmic kraut-abilly group, wearing lederhosen and tin-foil socks". Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski from Fat White Family helped tell the story of 'Johnny Rocket', bringing the contorted concept to life.
A s an increasingly homogenised pop landscape reaches peak Sheeran, this collaboration between part of the Fat White Family and Sheffield electronic oddballs Eccentronic Research Council adopts a gleefully untamed, bull-in-a-record-shop approach. It's an inspired mish-mash of Glitter Band tribal drumming, a howling wolf, tuneless saxophone squawking, heavy breathing and at least one narrative about castration; a sort of Cramps-meet-B-52s Hammer horror-rock monster. Guests range from a wailing Yoko Ono to the cowboy from the Village People (on schlock stomper Glory Hole).
Goofing off, comedy wackiness, messing about. These are not the usual traits of serious rock'n'roll, and can all too easily dissuade more serious listeners. But The Moonlandingz - a hybrid of Fat White Family, The Eccentronic Research Council and guests including Sean Lennon, Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club, Phil Oakey and Yoko Ono - manage to get it just right.
You've probably heard the schtick by now. The idea of The Moonlandingz originated in The Eccentronic Research Council 's 2015 concept album, Johnny Rocket, Narcissist And Music Machine… I'm Your Biggest Fan. Since then, the "fictional band" has been made flesh, featuring the ERC's Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer alongside the Fat White Family 's Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski, with Saoudi "cast" as the superlative frontman, Johnny Rocket.