Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
Charlie and the Moonhearts, as the Bay Area band used to be called, specializes in the kind of garage rock that is aspired toward by anyone who first steps into that garage or the pseudo garage of a musty basement. It's getting to throw your feelings out there at the dartboard, watch them stick and in the process, there you are getting more proficient at sounding like you're not just making shit up on the spot. You get from that early point where you think that you sound really bad ass, really rock and roll, as if you'd be able to climb those stairs or push the button to electrically pulse the door open and play for the neighborhood what you've made and they will cotton to the sound immediately, to the point where you actually do sound that good, without it sounding as if there are any serious career goals in mind. The last statement isn't supposed to mean anything more than the sense of a perception, the general feeling that this is all just happening and when the amps are quieted - by the cops, by the neighbors not attending these electrifying early shows - the players will slide their instruments off and back away from the drum kit and they will shrug and simply wonder to themselves or maybe inquire of the closest available person, how much is still left in the keg.
The motives will be minor and it's what so many love the most about garage rock at its heart. It fucks with the idea of polish and of status and just swings. It hits fast and it hits hard, right at the things that matter the most - pretty girls, loud and tastily sloppy guitars, banging drums and oddly enough choruses that anyone of any age could appreciate and see the merits of. Put a song like "I Said" on and within seconds you will be shaking your body ragged, crashing into the rakes and the lawnmower against the side of the garage and you'll be joining in on the escalating chorus. Charlie's howling his face off about getting caught in a spell by another one of the conniving ladies and it's driving him so goddamn nuts that he doesn't know what to do with himself. It leads us to remember those younger days when our hearts were all held together with super glue that never lasted and frayed duct tape. They'd bust open again and again. We'd mend them the best that we could again and again, retreating to the garage or the basement, whichever had better ventilation and climate controls and we'd work on something to get our stuffing back in order and to feel like we wanted to party it out again.