Champagne Riot – Moonstruck EP

Rating: ★★★½ ·

When I first got a press release of Champagne Riot, I expected that one of the participating members of Northern Portrait would bring me more hooks of the angular sort.  Not surprisingly, the Moonstruck EP definitely has plenty of hooks on it, but with a more delicate electronic bend, as opposed to my preconceived power-pop sort.

“Moonstruck” begins the affair with a nice little intro, but then this pounding rhythmic groove jumps in, as electronic beats seem to walk across the track.  Caspar Bock’s voice have this gentle quality that really bring the song together, and while you’re tempted to kick your boots up on the dance floor, there’s a bit of a steadying effect to the song.  Regardless, it kicks off the four-song trek joyfully.

You’ll find a bit more of traditional electronic-pop on “Goldrush.”  Every beat here is a bit more subdued than on the opener, which opens way for this soaring harmonic vocal that really seems to carry the entire track.  This track reminds me of the innocent joy I had as a young kid, when I first busted out New Order‘s Republic, before I worked backwards through the catalogue. Perhaps my favorite element of this song is its straightforward presentation; its not trying to be clever or witty, just wants to be a great track, which it is.

“Heart Stab” is possibly the one track here that just gets to sweet for my ears.  In the mix with a full album, you could probably slide it in nicely, but perhaps too much of a good thing can be bad.  It sounds really familiar too, and perhaps that’s why this song sort of irks me, due to the fact that I can’t place it! Still, there’s a bit of a twisted element in the lyrics, which sort of makes you wonder where Champagne Riot could truly go if they had time to craft an entire record of such music.

Your short journey with the Moonstruck EP ends with “A Friend of a Friend.” You’ll find that this song holds the future for Champagne Riot, as electronic elements are definitely present here, but piano/keyboard touches occasionally dominate the beats themselves, not to mention that the vocal delivery has this soothing quality.  You’ll find somewhat of an operatic montage moment in the latter half of the track, demonstrating that the duo are capable of pushing themselves in regards to their entire sound.  By the end of your journey, you can’t help but to wear a smile.  The tunes are written well, the melodies are great and sometimes we just need to let loose and enjoy this sort of fun.

You can pick it up at the Matinee Recordings Store.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/1Moonstruck.mp3]

Download: Champagne Riot -Moonstruck [MP3]

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