Album review
Moon Invaders
Moon Invaders
The Moon Invaders / Grover Records
May 24, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Prolog
  2. Finger Poppin' Foot Stompin'
  3. City Of Fire
  4. Fool Again
  5. Lude #1
  6. Shame & Sorrow
  7. Castaway
  8. Besides
  9. Lude #2
  10. Guardian Angel
  11. Congo Square
  12. Love Her Soul
  13. Lude #3
  14. Blue
  15. Devil In Disguise
  16. Epilogue
  17. City Of Dub (bonustrack)
  18. Houston Dub (bonustrack)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5

After a short instrumental "Prolog" that clearly indicates the traditional ska one can expect on this album, originally self released in Belgium, but now picked up by Germany's Grover Records the nine guys from Belgium (and Luxemburg) forming The Moon Invaders kick off their same titled debut album with the upbeat "Finger Poppin' Foot Stompin'". It is one of very few tracks on this album - produced by NYC/Sao Paulo ska guru Victor Rice - not having lyrics dedicated to a love that's over. "City Of Fire" has a mixture of tradionalist ska and 2 Tone (especially the English Beat) feel, before the first 'heartbreak'-song "Fool Again" is offered. "Lude #1" is a melancholic dubby melodica track in the, same vein as melodica tracks often appear on producer Victor Rice's albums. Victor, who has been one of the most influential producers and musicians in the ska- and reggae-scene during the last couple of years, is not only well-known in busy New York City, but even in Brasil - where he also has a place of residence - and throughout Europe and especially Germany, where you can get in touch with his works in many ways; either as long-time bass player of The New York Ska Jazz Ensemble or as producer of numerous records, e.g. by Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars, who flew him in in 2001 to dub and remix their album "Pick Up The Pieces". His latest soloalbum "In America" had been written and recorded between 2001 and 2003, in NYC and Sao Paulo/Brasil. He was involved in over 30 albums since 1996 as producer or bassist, for these other bands besides the ones mentioned above, The Stubborn All-Stars, The Scofflaws, Skavoovie & The Epitones, The Slackers and The Toasters. Of course he mixed and produced Firebug's selftitled debut, playing bass, keyboards, guitar and percussion as well, and contributes not only his engineering skills to this album, but also plays the stick bass on these two tracks "Fool Again" and "Lude #1", the Rhodes piano on "Love Her Soul" as well as adding percussion on several tunes. "Shame & Sorrow" is a (anti-) rude boy tune in the vein of the Dandy Livingstone/Specials tune "Message To You Rudy". "Castaway" has a nice latin-ska feel, and is followed by the ska ballad "Besides". "Lude #2" is a bubbling organ led instrumental, like they made them in Jamaica and the UK at the close of the 60s. "Guardian Angel" is an uptempo plea to the singer's guardian angel to save him from falling, on which the harmonies that are great throughout the album are even more poignant. "Congo Square" is an instrumental clearly referring to the Belgian background of the band, and the colonial history of Belgium, with an almost Rico Rodriguez-like sound, and a great piano solo in its middle. "Love Her Soul" is a fast-paced tune with the IMO brilliant lyrics baby, won't you step out of this cold / and maybe, you can take off all your clothes. "Lude #3" not surprisingly is another short dubby instrumental gem, this time built around a trombone and a keyboard riff. "Blue" isn't to blue in its backing, but it's yet another love gone thru. Sad, but it's great that it gets besung in such a fine way. "Devil In Disguise" is a great ska stomper warning not to be caught off guard, before "Epilogue" is the last regular track on the album. Same authentic stomping ska feel, and a very nice instrumental to showcase the musical talents this band contains. Fortunately their are 2 bonus tracks on which Victor Rice once again shows how masterful he dubs ska music, bringing the tempo down, and the echoes and effects in for "City Of Dub" and dubbing up "Lude #1" for "Houston Dub", the final track of a very promising debut album.