A few nights ago, I drove down to Exmouth at midnight, a leisurely journey along deserted, switchback roads that took something like twenty-five minutes, although I must admit that’s a guess, as I wasn’t paying attention to the passing of time. For company, I had my daughter Tanith and we spent the entire journey bathed in the moon’s strange light, listening to Interplanetery Class Classics, the new album by the Moonlandingz.
I don’t believe I possess the skill to review albums, or any other form of musical output for that matter, so I won’t try. Two of my long-standing friends – Neil Jeffries and Morat – are very good at this kind of thing, to the extent that they’ve both made a deservedly handsome living from it for all the decades I’ve been lucky enough to know them. Tanith herself reviewed the Moonlandingz’ album for Delinquent Magazine and what she wrote was re-tweeted by the band, but I don’t propose to try to add to this sum total.
Instead, I’ll simply say that I greatly enjoyed listening to what I can only describe as the deranged but melodic psychedelia of this album. There was something about the lonely drive to the seashore at midnight, drenched all the while by the Moon’s “doubtful and malignant light”, that made it seem to me as if Time briefly stood still and if I were somehow part of an old X-Files episode whose name remains tantalisingly out of reach, like standing on the threshold of a long-forgotten dream.
Unusually, the music and the mood it generated stayed with me after I left my car and while I wandered the shore at Exmouth with Tanith for thirty minutes. At such a gloomy, liminal spot, I would have usually found myself quietly singing Moonlight Drive by the Doors, or watching the eternal waves lap at the darkened sand at my feet as I summoned to mind verses by Keats, Blake or Coleridge.
I remember reading how Michael Crichton disliked the Tarot on the grounds that he felt it was “someone else’s dream” and this was an observation that struck a profound chord in me, because I always like to create my own visions rather than have one created by someone else paraded before me like a video. This time around, however, the soundtrack to my wanderings on an empty shore was the subdued gurgle of the waves by moonlight and the demon tunes from “someone else’s dream”, and very pleasant it was, too.