Moonshifter are a band that have grown their sound in the Melbourne rock scene, becoming known to audiences at well known venues such as The Espy, The Bendigo, The Tote and Cherry Bar. Influenced by such rock legends as KISS and AC/DC they have become known for their fun, modern take on the Aussie 70s/80s hard rock sound. Moonshifter consists of singer Lachlan Cross, guitarists Mark Cambruzzi and Wayne Elkin, bass player Andy Baker and drummer Mike Cato. Founded in 2012 the band have finally released their first full length album ‘Love Lust Fire Dust’. The album is a fun adventure full of groove infused hard rock that really draws you in and gets you rocking along. The album dives right in with the first song Dirty Mind. It opens with a real dirty pub rock sound that gives us an insight into what the band are about. Cross’s vocals have an Australian tinge as he sings about wanting a wild woman with a dirty mind. The guitars have a real old school hard rock sound that never loses the rock n roll feel.
Track two is I Am Yours, You Are Mine. We are introduced to a 70s influenced sound and a great vocal performance by Cross. This tune is full of passion and attention catching riffs that really grabs your attention. There is bit of a dirtier sound to this that really works. After two upbeat songs that sing of love, Mountain gives us something different. This song is more polished with a 70s stadium rock feel that tells of wanting to leave behind the modern world pain by escaping to the mountains. This track has been described as a great road trip song and I think that is spot on. Leave You Baby starts off with a more upbeat rocking out feel as the song talks of love gone wrong. The boys add a current feel that really gives them their own unique sound. The guitar work particularly on this track stands out and grabs you.
The album really picks up with the power ballad sound of I Keep This Light. This song ups the game on every level. The vocals are full of passion and so is the music. The guitar solos on this track show real talent and skill. The various tempo changes keep things interesting and you can’t help but rock along. So Much More really brings the 70s groove feel. The Bass stands out providing a rise tone to the track. The pace picks back up, and you can’t help but want to move and sing along. A similar sound is apparent in Burnin’ Alive while getting into a deeper and harder old school rock feel. The band has really found there groove and each section is solid. This song is pure rock and roll without a weak spot. This leads into Oh Emily. Another up beat hard rock song but with its own personality. The guitar parts on this vary greatly, from a mellow ‘picked out’ sound to hard rock shreds and everything in between. It keeps the fast paced, party nature of the whole album going.
The next track, Let You Down, On this song the drums really shine and come to the fore. The guitar tone is richer too. This has a slight garage rock feel that works wetland really keeps you on the hook. The lyrics speak of a player who will break your heart, but the music says let just have a good time. A little change in sound comes through on You Feel It. There is almost an old radio tone to the sound, but the tune itself takes on a very modern feel. The band states in their bio that they are “bringing all the power and glory of 70’s and 80’s hard rock, kicking and screaming into the 21st century” and this track epitomises that credo. More intricate and heavier guitar parts accent a heavy, ‘stomp along’ feel. The backing vocals from the band in this add some melody, creating a track that would be great to see live.
The final song is Ride and they really saved the best for last. The sound of a motorcycle leads into some good old-fashioned rock and roll. All of their influences come together in this track that is almost a party in musical form. Fast paced and energetic, they keep a hard and heavy edge. The vocals are smooth but full of life, and the song is well composed. This song doesn’t have a dull moment and really pulls you into to rock along. For me this song was the highlight and a great way to close out the album, leaving a lasting impression. Overall, the album is a fun example of Australian hard rock that has been forged in the live music circuit Melbourne is known for. This is the kind of music you can rock out to and come back for more.
‘Love Lust Fire Dust’ is out now and you can pick up your copy HERE!