The Lunar Laugh
Nighthawks! (Big Stir Records 2021)
Formed several years ago, The Lunar Laugh quickly made a name for themselves amongst the alternative music circuit. Specializing in a deft juggling of power pop and country rock, the Oklahoma City band has cut three excellent studio albums to date; Apollo, Mama’s Boy and Goodnight Noises Everywhere” The Lunar Laugh’s latest project, Nighthawks!, concentrates on previously-unreleased live recordings of material culled from these albums.
Taped in different settings, the album manages to possess a consistent flow, giving the impression these songs were recorded from one concert. Confident showmanship, combined with the Lunar Laugh’s joy for sharing their music, is positively infectious. Add a clear and big sound to the mix, and you will feel as if you are experiencing the gigs first-hand.
The Lunar Laugh certainly picked the cream of the crop to be presented on Nighthawks!, with songs such as Tell Me A Story, Apollo, Winsome, Mama’s Boy, By The Light Of The Living Room, Work In Progress, Old New Kid In Town, Living A Lie and Waiting For A Sign, posting as just some of the gems encountered. Aside from featuring a becoming exterior, the interior of these tunes is also appealing, as the lyrics are thoughtful and observant.
Blinking brightly with swirls of scrumptious harmonies, rows of well-rounded melodies and instrumentation as tight as steel, Nighthawks! examines The Lunar Laugh in their element and digging every minute of it. Whether the band is strumming a bouncy twang or rocking out to a driving beat, the energy and enthusiasm remains focused and direct.
An early seventies West Coast accent anchors most of the tracks on Nighthawks!, with particular nods going to artists like Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Poco and America. Imagine these bands bearing a power pop edge, and that generally describes what The Lunar Laugh offers.
A couple of covers further appear on the album, being Death Cab For Cutie’s ghostly hymn-styled Soul Meets Body and Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man, which The Lunar Laugh crowns with a rumbling jam. As an extra treat, two new studio songs – I Wanna Know and It’s Okay – are included on Nighthawks! Both of these numbers zero right in on the band’s trademark tone of glowing vocals, delectable hooks and tasty licks, leaving listeners hungry for their next album. But until then, here’s a superb souvenir of The Lunar Laugh, captured live and in action!
By Beverly Paterson