It is fitting that the release of Moondog coincides with the 25th anniversary of the birth of BritPop. The Wiltshire three-piece owes much to the movement – there are the familiar 60s harmonies, guitar solos and organ all reinvigorated with a post-punk spikiness. More significantly though Nudybronque possess humour, swagger, and the ability to vividly paint the warts-and-all details of British life – BritPop’s best feature.
Spanning the organ-driven lounge psychedelia of the Peddlers right through to the observational narratives of Let’s Wrestle, Moondog is a very British affair and all the better for it. Characters that are repressed and confused yet hopelessly optimistic suffer through underage drinking, awkward romances, and evenings spent watching telly.
Moondog contains several wry lyrical turns that succeed in capturing this version of Britishness, like Peachy Keen’s lothario who breaks hearts with ‘freshly polished shoes‘ and an ‘infamous zipped-up burgundy jumper‘. Jarvis Cocker and Pulp are never too far away – in particular singer Aidan Sheehan’s ability to inject drama through vocal inflection and the sharp-eyed wit evidenced throughout.
The highlight of this EP is former single Allsorts: a slow-burning croon that eventually erupts into frustrated animal howls. It is powerful, evocative, and refreshingly intense. Elsewhere No Wives, No Children is as catchy as it is lyrically astute and Space Travel 2013 By Phone reveals a palpable tenderness.
These five songs are evocative kitchen sink dramas where you can actually feel the slug-like pasta between your fingertips as you pull it from the plughole. Moondog is a more muscular, less nuanced His and Hers – sexy, determined and deliciously dark.