Desert Planet - Moonrocks

13 songs
40:11 minutes
***** **
9 pm


As an aficionado of game consoles, I was looking forward to the new CD by Desert Planet from Finland. Since Mario Built My Hot Rod from 2005, the duo has become a trio, but that doesn’t mean that their sound is any less crazy. They still wear their trademark retro astronaut look, and the same feeling goes for the music. Next generation video games are a taboo for this band that uses preponderantly 8-bit sounds.

Moonrocks starts with the energetic single Riot Sector 68, where Desert Planet resume exactly where they stopped at their previous album. Their music sounds marvellously synthetic and electronic, reminding of video game soundtracks of the early Nineties, although Desert Planet added lots of beats, grooves and rhythms to make their sound more danceable. Their material is so diverse that there is no moment of boredom to be made out. The originality factor is not as high anymore as with the preceding record, so that Moonrocks eventually doesn’t sound as fresh as Mario Built My Hot Rod, but Desert Planet haven’t lost their appeal yet. Only two tracks disappoint: Cocktail Lift turns out to be really elevator music, a genre better mastered by The Moog Cookbook years earlier. Three Apples High isn’t spectacular either and could be used as the opening theme for a TV quiz show. Apart from these exceptions, we get nonstop rocking electro music, ending the CD with a cover version of Vangelis’ Blade Runner theme.

Moonrocks is anything but a bad record although it doesn’t quite reach the class of the Mario Built My Hot Rod. Friends of electronic sounds and videogame soundtracks should still get their kicks out of this album which still contains enough fast beats and drive. I suspect that Desert Planet are even more entertaining when playing live, if only due to their eccentric outfit. The original cover artwork underlines that this band has a very special kind of humour.

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