The Allegations – Love Is a Howling Moon / Obviously (We Rock)

by | Jul 5, 2019 | Song of the Day

We are going to the moon; that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself. Anaïs Nin

From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut

I have seen a photograph of someone, said to be me, standing unsteadily on a chair by my grandparents’ kitchen table and pointing to a chocolate cake bearing a solitary candle. On that day America celebrated, not my still-insignificant existence, but the emplacement of our nation’s second artificial moon into orbit around the Earth. The tiny Vanguard satellite still tumbles through space, the oldest unnatural object up there, destined for re-entry two hundred years into the future.

Fast-forward eleven years and I am sitting beside my father on the bench seat of a mist-green Impala, stationary in the parking lot of a Nashville shopping center, the asphalt empty as stores are closed on Sunday. We listen as a voice in the single dashboard speaker says, ‘Forward… Good… Kicking up some dust… Faint shadow… Drifting to the right a little. Okay. Down a half… The Eagle has landed.’

This month marks five decades since Mankind made one giant leap onto our rather uncreatively named moon. I will leave it to those who observe Vanguard’s descent to judge our progress within those fifty years. I suspect that, should we of today somehow read that future assessment, we will be disappointed by the inconsequence of our current era, our petty politics neither saving nor destroying civilization even as each eventuality is predicted several times daily, one outcome prophesied by CNN, the other by Fox. Yet both hemispheres observe the same moon and, from Edgar Mitchell’s altitude, both would observe the same Earth.

The order of Life has remained constant for those fifty years. We still say Hello, but into rectangles extracted from our pockets rather than into plastic handles tethered to the wall. We still share pictures, on books of Faces instead of printed cards. Print is dead, but we never tried to save it. Freedom is still sought; the path is still disputed. Loveless souls still look to the moon and whisper When? Loved souls look to the moon and say Us.

With ‘Love Is a Howling Moon / Obviously (We Rock),’ the Allegations look to our moon and see, not a symbol of affection, but Love itself. Their moon emits a lupine howl to ward away the beasts that stalk and plunder those couples not contented by their oneness.

This is all I need
Cause your love is a moon and the moon is howling…
This is all I need
When the lions and tigers and bears are prowling…

‘Love Is a Howling Moon’ is classically easy pop; it could have been sung by Frank Sinatra but more probably Rick Astley. ‘Obviously (We Rock)’ is the garage band that you envisioned when you stood in front of a mirror thrashing your older brother’s tennis racket. A gentle coda, a lone saxophonist on the Brooklyn Bridge, ties the disparate genres into a single track.

Based in NYC, the Allegations are Frank (vocals, backing vocals, guitars, bass, 5-string bass, synthetic bass, flesh-and-blood drums, silicon drums, keyboards, harmonica, and bongos) and That Guy (vocals, backing vocals, guitars, flesh-and-blood keyboards, synthetic bass, silicon drums, banjos, mastering, artwork). Today’s track is from their new eleven track album, Non-Neutered 1%, which they self-describe as ‘a genre-hopping miasma.’ When I encountered miasma, I smelled a Song of the Day though I had yet to hear the emanation itself.

The Allegations’ creative process, as described by Frank, is… unique: ‘For the album, we came up with titles first, and then each recorded songs with those titles. At the end we picked our favorites. The phrase ‘Love Is a Howling Moon’ popped into my (Frank’s) head one day, and That Guy’s version ended up on the record. It’s supposed to be motivational and spiritually clarifying, like something they’d play for the guests being held at Omega Institute. (Editor’s note: the guests at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies claim to be there of their own free will.) Both of our ‘Obviously We Rock’ songs ended up on Non-Neutered 1%, but the one in question is mine. I don’t play drums but I wanted the whole thing done quick and lo-fi, so I just bashed out the drums in one take, threw some classy shriek and squawk over it, and bam: obviously, we rock.’

You can support the Allegations in their efforts to redefine how we make and listen to music by visiting their Bandcamp page and downloading Non-Neutered 1%. The eleven tracks comprise at least nineteen songs that are interesting, challenging, sometimes perplexing, and worth hearing. And be sure to follow The Allegations on Facebook and Instagram.

Since 2013, Reverb Raccoon has featured the best music from unknown and independent musicians. His interests include eating leftovers from the neighbor’s garbage can and watching The Royal Tenenbaums.  Email: reverb.raccoon@gmail.com

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