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Dead Moon - Echoes of the Past

  by Geraint Jones

published: 7 / 11 / 2006

Dead Moon - Echoes of the Past
Label: Sub Pop
Format: CD X2


Sprawling double CD retrospective on the Sub Pop label from long-serving Oregon-based garage rock three-piece, Dead Moon

Recently released by Sub Pop, this sprawling 49 track retrospective is a megawatt wake-up call to anyone thus far unfamiliar with Dead Moon, the should-be legendary, near-cult outfit from Clackamas, Oregon. Ingrained since their inception with an admirable spirit of independence and dedication to their craft that very few, if any, could equal, the distant roots of Dead Moon can be traced as far back as 1964 when Fred Cole, the band’s songwriter, principal vocalist and guitarist, made his recording debut with the Lords. A multitude of outfits and stylistic departures followed over the ensuing years, the best known of which was probably the Lollipop Shoppe (previously the Weeds) whose 1967-released ‘You Must Be A Witch’, is justifiably regarded by many as a Nuggets-era classic, before Dead Moon formed in 1987. Fred Cole augmented the newly formed trio with wife Toody on bass, and drummer Andrew Loomis, a fan of Fred and Toody’s pre-Dead Moon folk/country duo the Range Rats. And 19 years later, the now 7-time grandparents’ led-trio, with around 16 studio or live albums and a multitude of singles under their collective belts are still kicking up a storm wherever they play – and that’s quite regularly. At the time of writing the band are well into a European tour – no UK dates sadly, before returning to the US for further dates. ‘Echoes Of The Past’ while not offering any previously unreleased material, nevertheless collates a multitude of tracks from their album and single releases from their 1988 debut LP ‘In The Graveyard’ up to 2001’s ‘Trash And Burn’. All tracks are in glorious mono as originally intended – almost all of Dead Moon’s output has been cut on a 1954 mono lathe bought by Toody as a birthday present for Fred - the same lathe used to cut te Kingsmen’s ‘Louis Louis’ no less! Now that is rock n roll! Celebrating 20 years together in 2007, Dead Moon could very well go on forever, though only as long as all three founding members remain in the band – they’ve all vouched the band would not go on should anyone not wish to continue. Featuring material originally released on their own Tombstone Records imprint in the US, with their long time German licensee Music Maniac releasing most of their records in Europe, ‘Echoes Of The Past’ actually represents Dead Moon’s second time hook-up with Sub Pop, the band having released a limited edition Sub Pop Singles Club 7” back in 1993, though oddly neither side of that appears here. That’s a minor omission though as the 49 tracks that are included ought to whet the appetite of any fan of no holds barred primal rock n roll. That said Dead Moon are no one trick pony; occasionally and successfully incorporating more subtle moments amongst their punk, blues, psychedelic rock n roll stock in trade, all of it performed with a direct, no frills approach and often white hot intensity. Recorded loud and intended to be played the same way – ideally VERY LOUD, Dead Moon’s plug-in, play and record approach makes for some of the most menacing, dangerous and visceral rock n roll you’ll ever hear. And while I’ve sadly never had the pleasure of seeing the band live myself, they’re on-stage reputation is immense. If their 1991-released ‘Live Evil’ set is anything to go by, that live reputation is more than deserved. The likes of ‘Graveyard’, ‘Dead Moon Night’, ‘54/40 Or Fight’ and ‘Black September’, classics all, should be in any self-respecting rock fans collection. Still going strong, their most recent album ‘Dead Ahead’, came out in 2004 and a DVD documentary entitled ‘Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story’ has just been released. If uninitiated start with ‘Echoes Of The Past’ and make Dead Moon part of your present and rock n roll’s future. They deserve it and you won’t be sorry.

Track Listing:-
1 Graveyard
2 Evil Eye
3 I Hate the Blues
4 Dead Moon Night
5 My Escape
6 A Miss of You
7 Walking On My Grave
8 Johnny's Got a Gun
9 I'm Out Nine
10 Kicked Out - Kicked In
11 Unknown Passage
12 Jane
13 Dagger Moon
14 DOA
15 Over the Edge
16 Running Scared
17 Room 213
18 54/40 or Fight (Live)
19 A Fix On You
20 Sorrow's Forecast
21 Castaways
22 Down the Road
23 Fire in the Western World
24 Can't Do That
25 13 Going on 21
26 Destination X
27 Black September
28 Poor Born
29 Cast Will Change
30 Running Out of Time
31 Psychodelic Nightmare
32 Area 51
33 Somewhere Far Away
34 Diamonds in the Rough
35 Going South
36 I Won't Be the One
37 Point of No Return
38 Last Train
39 Rescue
40 On Another Plane
41 Ricochet
42 The Way It Is
43 These Times with You
44 40 Miles Of Bad Road
45 Never Again
46 Sabotage
47 Day After Day
48 It's O.K.
49 Too Far Gone

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