When a new artist comes along and puts out a debut CD that's sometimes infinitely better than some artists put out in a single career, you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so to speak...
Also, when a band breaks up, it's rare for the scattered remaining members to form another band or project nearly as good as the prior (solo projects count). So when Luna Halo surfaced, after Nathan Barlowe's prior band Reality Check's premature demise, much was expected from them. But thankfully, much was given.
Luna Halo's debut album Shimmer is a solid album of quality tracks of tight melodic pop/modern rock with amazing melodies and infectious rhythms. The album starts off with 2 very solid tracks that have the band proving themselves as a promising new act with an album that will hardly be listened to one day and forgot the next. "Aliens" begins with a so-similar-it's-creepy distortion of sounds that are very reminiscent of the start of the Reality Check album. But before the bass-laced grooves and rock-supported rap vocals come in, a tasty electric guitar riff creeps in followed by a louder proclamation of the rhythm and then followed by a multi-layered vocal track of Barlowe's creating a hauntingly unusual sound that carries you into a flavorful chorus. "Superman," a pure pop/rock tune supported by strings and vocal harmonies that produce a catchy radio-friendly song bound to catapult itself to number one on the rock charts.
The Beatle/PfR-esque "Carry Me" follows suit with a glowing pop ballad that includes a moment that is so reminiscent of PfR it's spooky. The styles and feels on the album vary quite a bit, but still hold together in perfect unity without a song feeling out of place. Many of the songs are catchy and satisfying even if they take a couple listens to get accustomed to. The melodies and rhythms tend to remind me of what the result of mixing tunes from Code of Ethics' Soulbait and the intricate complexity of Common Children's Delicate Fade, with an excellency that the description I just gave doesn't give the music.
"Hang On To You" boasts addicting electronic drum beats and loops that pull you into a melodic pop/rock ballad about holding on to Jesus and giving up all we do to Him. "So Far" appropriately follows, yet another catchy rock tune with a perfect drum beat blended with distorted guitars and a a Crazy Glue coated chorus to stick in your head.
Simply awesome but not perfect, Shimmer is undoubtedly a highlight for the new year and an answer to prayer for good new solid artists.- Review date: 3/8/00, written by John DiBiase
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