With a pair of EPs in Far From Home and Dreams Come still courting the imagination after their release earlier this year, the pairing of David Long and Shane O’Neill offer a bigger and richer proposal in the shape of new album Moll & Zeis. The record is the debut full-length from the Irish pair as a duo and simply continues and expands the alluring indie rock explorations of those previous encounters.
The former front men of 1980’s post-punk / indie rock bands Into Paradise and Blue In Heaven respectively, Long and O’Neill embroil all the experiences and imagination of those earlier successes in a whole new adventure embracing rich and varied flavours and invention. Post punk, rock, pop and indie hues embrace within the duo’s intimation loaded sound, a mixture that within Moll & Zeis had the imagination swinging as eagerly and thoughtfully as the body.
Earth Moves opens up the release; its temptation immediately a celestial shimmer across an earthly landscape strolled by contemplative vocals. With keys similarly a radiant lure, the song resonates upon the senses and in thoughts like a sunrise yet with a lively energy that swiftly got under the skin.
It is a seriously compelling start to the album which In Out cements with its alluring shadows and manipulative rhythms. There is a certain hue of The Sound to the track; that alone an irresistible captivation here which as it opens up its bloom, the track escalates with infectious almost devious enterprise. Predominately instrumental, the piece is a masterful web of design and temptation, mystery and seduction woven in every thread.
Far From Home is no lightweight in implication either, the track weaving melodic temptation and inherent catchiness as it strolls through ears. Seemingly joyful yet with a dark almost menacing edge, it’s warm but earnest character easily manipulates the senses before Morning Song casts a similarly darkened but inviting proposal to evoke keen exploration into its expressive heart.
The album’s title track follows and swiftly involved thought and appetite in its psych kissed, slightly clamorous atmosphere. It is a rapture of noise and beauty which firmly gripped ears before Finnegan took the body on a lustful sway with its own atmospheric courting of the imagination and Albert The Painter conjured its individual tempting within an ethereal dreamlike embrace. Based on Hermann Hesse’s book The Painter, the latter proved an enthralling protagonist for the imagination and as its predecessor proved effortlessly compelling.
The indie pop jangle of For You equally had attention and involvement keen, its seventies pop hue a smiling infection while Wandering embroiled ears and thoughts in a theatre of dark shadows and even inkier corners. Its steely web is espionage and danger strung within a climate of sinister at times tenebrific implication and suggestion. The instrumental piece simply engrossed and provoked the imagination, taking favourite track choice.
Just as potent in its indie pop/ post punk way was Dreams Come, a fertile slice of dark emotive pop upon a rhythmic shuffle that easily got under the skin and drew unstoppable movement to its infectious orchestrations. It is an addictive end to Moll & Zeis though actually the release is completed by the Country Mix of its title track, a last moment of pleasure baiting enticement.
It all makes for one richly enjoyable and increasingly fulfilling encounter, the first of many such full adventures with David Long and Shane O’Neill we hope.
Moll & Zeis is out now via Country Pylon Recordings; available @ https://davidlong4.bandcamp.com/album/moll-zeis
Pete RingMaster 30/09/2021
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