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Close Cover Before Striking

Close Cover Before Striking

After releasing their first album in several years (not including their recent live disc) last spring (Romantica), Luna is already back with a 7 song EP worth of new material. Running just about 30 minutes in length, Close Cover Before Striking features 5 new songs by the group, along with two covers. Musically and lyrically, it continues right along in the same footsteps of their last album, and in the case of some tracks is even much better.

An example of such is the opening track of "Astronaut." Quite simply one of the best tracks that the group has every created, the disc races along with a speedy rhythm section as shimmering guitars quiver over everything. Dean Wareham adds some downright singalong vocals in his warm baritone, and the track dares you not to follow. Taking things down a notch on the next two tracks, the group adds a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Waiting On A Friend" (infusing it with some breezier vocals) and the stripped-down "Teenage Lightning."

Heading back into more lush melodic guitar rock territory, "Drunken Whistler" starts off with the plunky backing of a tinny drum machine before blossoming into one of the more full tracks on the disc. Packing a good deal of hooks into a short 3 minutes, it's a nice little instrumental track for the group. After a couple tracks that sort of tread more familiar ground, the release closes out with the other cover track, a surprisingly interesting version of Kraftwerk's "Neon Lights." The group gives the track a more human feel than the original, but retains the essense of the catchy melody (and the vocals work like a lock considering the sort of 'star-struck' feel of recent lyrical output by Wareham). As a nice little bonus, the disc also includes videos for the tracks "Lovedust" and "1995." If you enjoyed Romantica, you definitely won't go wrong on this one.

Rating: 7