Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Best of – Luna


Being a virgin traveller in the Luna field, I am placed in

many intriguing situations. Fascinating prospects pop up all

around me, materialising in the shape of Dean Wareham’s

slickly intimate compositions. Now that he has thrown his

cards on the table, should I surrender my Newcastle Brown

Ale wall of defence and allow myself to be reeled in by his

crew of timid shoe-gazers? The pendulum could swing either

way, and with bands like Luna there is no quarter shown to

fence sitters. Love ’em, hate ’em ad infinitum, make a

decision and get with the programme or leave the rainy

afternoon cappuccino battalion and return to regular


Whatever the jury may decide on Luna as musical

functionalists, no level of ambiguity can corrupt the fact

that Dean Wareham is a wordsmith of a sky-high calibre,

creating a tantalizing glimpse into the delicate environment

of the mid '90s guitar pop scene to the left of the Atlantic.

Cue misty eyed stares and hip-to-be-square sentiment

shimmering from the next generation of middle class

expressionism. Seattle gave us raw dirty axe-trashing in

league with nihilistic prophets violently removed from the

nightmare hundrum they were reared in. N.Y.C., always a

Janus like construction site for the cooler than cool

offered the emotionally redeeming prowess of getting

intimate with William S. Burroughs beside a duck filled

pond. Tomorrow afternoon replace The Naked Lunch with

Ricky Nelson and Chistopher Boyce. Luna have a gigantic

lucky bag of name dropping delights to work with, and

everybody will get their share.

Stories behind the creation of Anesthesia and 23 Minutes

In Brussels open up the dreamy alternative world Luna

inhabit, and the uninitiated may have trouble gaining entry.

These songs in full swing tend to revolve around a similar

theme. Arguing that the band are not to everybody’s taste is

like saying Marty Morrissey is not exactly Michael O’ Hehir.

In their defence, Wareham and Co. try to avoid the plodding

angst-on-demand tabloid radio orientated dross that pseudo

Indie chancers like The Cranberries, The Goo Goo Dolls, and

the excruciating 4 Non Blondes, decadently sploshed around

in, to the delight of their paymasters. When the band hit

their definition of top gear, the results are spectacular.

Tracy I Love You and Superfreaky Memories are songs

which deserve to be blasted out from the highest mountain

top. Hip poetry gels with the rhythm of a backing band

ecstatic that their Svengali has given them permission to


Where the album falls short, it tends to be focused around

the predictable non threatening Stevie Jackson

impersonations and guitars confused as to what purpose they

serve. Every single song on display has the potential to

become a masterpiece, as it cries out for more inventive

arrangements and sweet luxurious vocal harmonies, but some

songs just give up the ghost, fearing they have been

abandoned in the bed wetting haze. When God invented guitars

and drums, not everybody was expected to follow in the

footsteps of Ritchie Blackmore and Gene Krupa, but a hint of

passion somewhere along the line wouldn’t have become a

Gordian knot for Luna to eternally fumble upon.

Reputations are a mixed blessing. For Luna the effect is

distinctly positive, as special guest appearances from

Sterling Morrison and Tom Verlaine add the vital chunk of

street-cred to these recordings. Trademark sounds from

Morrison on Friendly Advice and Verlaine’s deft touch on

the fantastic opener Moon Palace give the non converts

something extra special to chew upon. Verlaine is

particularly in his element on a piece Wareham rightfully

claims is one of the best he has ever written. When Luna are

good, they are molten hot. Frank and sincere, their finest

moments in league with The Sundays’ and Belle And

Sebastian’s most lauded Rites of Passage.

So why not invite budding stargazers to climb on board with

their own 'greatest hits package’. This CD does everything

it says on the tin. Luna, I’m sure, have been through a

whirlwind of ecstatic adoration to the lows of blunt

rejection. A slightly contrived feeling of anti mainstream

rebellion is portrayed in the mood of the band’s photos,

showing they’re ultimately a content lot like the old

draught horse set in his ways, rain or shine, happy to be

here. For that at least, Luna deserve to be saluted.

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