Rock It to the Moon

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Barking dogs, carnival rides, storming guitars, and organs -- lots of organs -- ranging from ominous to pummeling figure in Electrelane's debut. It's quite possible that most of the songs are the result of jamming. That's what it sounds like, at least. Jam-based records are prone to much noodling, which isn't a problem with Rock It to the Moon; actually, the predominantly instrumental record sounds like a live show with lots of ebbs, flows, freakouts, and chill-outs. It's a rare instance where the maximum space allowed on a disc is used in a good way for a studio record. Electrelane didn't just stuff it because they happened to have enough songs. And the length doesn't smack of a massive collective ego; it smacks more of a group too excited to be making music together to ever stop. There are too many ideas floating throughout and there are too many extended passages to warrant major pruning. If a disc held 100 minutes, this would probably be 99 minutes long. Besides, who wants to put a stop to fun? "Long Dark" crosses Stereolab with Duane Eddy; it even throws some "Peter Gunn" into its nine minutes, along with some feverish keyboard licks that mimic Hot Butter's "Popcorn." "Gabriel" is probably the best Cliff's Notes summation of the record, beginning with a mournful lurch that explodes into a frenzy of blasting, racing instruments and those wild keyboards featured earlier. Imagine a funeral procession turning into a chase scene that passes through a desert, only to end abruptly with a pileup. Those barking dogs mentioned earlier remind one of Pink Floyd's "Dogs," but that's laid to rest when a contorted voice intones "I wanna be your dog." Ahh, the dogs are a Stooges reference -- of course.

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