Sunday, September 26, 2021

#7 Interplanetary Class Classics - The Moonlandingz

Wait, what? Number seven? Oh noes! What was I thinking!

A month later, as I come before the court to explain how this one-off, in-joke side-project from a band already somewhat difficult to take seriously came to appear in the top ten of my twenty-five favorite albums of the last quarter of a century, I find myself at a loss. I'd struggle to come up with much of an explanation for how it got into the twenty-five at all, let alone sit proud and defiant at #7.

Okay, here's one thing in its favor: unlike a disturbing number of my supposedly favorite albums of relatively recent times I can at least name some tracks off this one without having to look at the CD cover. Let's see... Strangle of Anna, I.D.S. (aka 40,000 Years of Job Club), Black Hans... 


Okay, that's three. Three more than I could come up with for either of the albums at #6 or #5 although, as will become apparent in the posts for each of them, I definitely rate both a lot higher than this one. 

I guess that's why the Moonlandingz made it in. I can remember the songs. If there's one thing you can say about the album and the semi-fictional band behind it, it's that once heard they're hard to forget. Much though you might want to try.

A little biographical information for context. The Moonlandingz was (Were? Is? Are?) a spin-off from Peckham troublemakers Fat White Family. Want to know what they're like? Here they are on the Letterman Show (!) doing "Is It Raining In Your Mouth?", one of the less-disturbing of their performances I've seen. And they all keep their clothes on, which must make it something of a collectors' item.

I think I first came across their work with the confusingly-titled I Am Mark E Smith, to which the only reasonable response would seem to be "No, you're not. You're really not". 

I have a fairly high tolerance for this kind of thing but even I can only take Fat White Family in quite small doses. The Moonlandingz, on the other hand, are more palatable and weirdly more polished, despite being even louder, weirder and dirtier (as in unwashed, although probably the other meaning, too.)

Something I didn't know until I started putting this post together is that the Moonlandingz owe their existence to a project initiated by the Eccentronic Research Council, probably best known for the magnificent Another Witch is Dead (feat. Maxine Peak). If you haven't seen that (and I know I've linked it before) do yourself a favor and click the link.

According to Wikipedia the Moonlandingz was "originally designed as a concept act for the Eccentronic Research Council's fifth album Johnny Rocket, Narcissist and Music Machine…I'm Your Biggest Fan". The line-up is a mix of people from both the FWF and ERC and it seems they all had so much fun pretending to be one band they kept at it long enough to make an album.


Which I bought. And have played a lot. Really, quite a lot. Because it's full of storming stick-in-your-head tunes with stomping great choruses that demand to be sung along with at top volume. Also they made some great videos to go with them.

Speaking of which, I haven't really felt the need to add any warnings to any of the posts in this series so far and I'm not going to start now but if you have any qualms about fried eggs, cling film or people eating and singing with their mouths full you might want to excercise caution. Oh, and Donald Trump, of course, but it's probably a bit late to start worrying about him now.

Y'know what? Writing this, listening to the songs, watching the videos again, I can see exactly why Interplanetary Class Classics is in the top ten. I take it all back. Well, some of it. The top 25, anyway. 

#7 still might be a tad high.

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