S/T 12 Inch Ep
Three One G
By: Eric Greenwood
So, yeah, Moving Units sounds an awful lot like The Rapture, but that doesn't change the fact that this Los Angeles trio still rocks. The onslaught of post-Gang Of Four bands is almost overwhelming lately. Who would have thought a bunch of art school communists from Leeds would be so influential two decades later? Moving Units funks up Gang Of Four's staccato guitar assault with wiry, melodic bass lines, angular guitar riffs, and semi-effeminate, almost gothic drama queen vocals. The bass leads every song in a disco blitz while the drumming frantically tries to stay ahead of the melody- a formula that will force you to dance, whether you like it or not.
There's a garage quality to the production akin to The Strokes and The Rapture, which seems to be the sound du jour, but derivations and influences hardly matter when the bass line is as catchy as the one in "Between Us And Them." The high-end bass hook is truly irresistible, making the guitar seem like little more than gratuitous filler, even though it's holding its own, working out its own repetitive, staccato rhythms. The vocals are delivered in a mannered vibrato, but they flow with the bass and drums perfectly. The bass in "I Am" recalls The Cure's "The Walk" a little too closely in the verse, but it's just so damn catchy you can't hold it against them. The sinewy guitar bits play off the disco funk bass, picking up tension and volume in the chorus to add to the controlled mania.
Moving Units is less frightening than The Rapture in its artsy, angular attack but perhaps, more sexually charged, as its allegiance is more to the funk than to the punk. The lyrics to "Melodrama" are frivolous and silly: "into the disco/is where you will soon go/will you for pleasure/give up your treasure." But they're sung with such panache and decadence that you cannot resist the temptation to sing along. The weird melodic guitar runs sound so minimal and sparse compared to the constant, herky-jerky motion of the rhythm section that the songs often bewilder as much as they entertain. By "X And Y" the formula is fully fleshed out and familiar, almost running the risk of sameness, but the hooks are so damn memorable, you're already starting it over.