sábado, 1 de junho de 2019

FULL MOON (UK) - Stand Up (7'', SRT, 1979)


Pretty much like any artistic movement you can possibly think of, NWOBHM didn't exactly come out of thin air, believe me. The notion that hard/heavy music got into hibernation sometime in the mid 1970s and suddenly re-emerged in 1979 with hundreds of youthful and enthusiastic British bands is a bit of a non-starter, though the doors were mostly closed indeed for new acts playing metal in the second half of that decade. Which is not to say every rocker in the country simply jumped into the punk rock bandwagon at the earliest opportunity, of course: many bands kept trying their luck with heavy rock, and many people were willing to attend the pubs and clubs to enjoy it. It's just that the labels and media turned their ears in a different direction for a while, something that surely didn't help matters for late-'70s bands unwilling to follow the trends, but that's life.

Not to be confused with the British-Metal-meets-Hawkwind band with the same name from the late '80s (a nice group BTW, you should really check them out), this particular Full Moon seems to have hailed from London or thereabouts, and were doing the rounds in the final years of the 1970s, without creating a significant buzz around themselves at any stage. I must admit I don't know much about the band's history prior to their only, privately-pressed vinyl legacy (1979's "Stand Up" B/W "Fly Away", that is) but, judging from the record's not remotely subtle front cover, they weren't exactly trying to spearhead the resurgence of metal music in the UK or anything like that. Similarly, I'd say that the quintet's moniker of choice wasn't about any celestial phenomenon at all, but rather a flippant mention to the undressed buttocks of an unidentified lady, not that the artwork would leave much room for any doubt.

Slightly tasteless picture sleeves aside, "Stand Up" brings some reasonably forceful guitar work in places, though the vocal lines are peculiarly closer to '70s pop rock music. The politically-motivated lyrics are pretty uncommon for pre-NWOBHM bands, and there's more than enough twists and turns going on (including a nice semi-martial instrumental interlude) to warrant a careful listen. Unfortunately, "Fly Away" is not in the same league of its pretty respectable predecessor, being a semi-ballad way closer to soft rock than anything more engaging and/or individualistic. This particular tune features the backing vocals of Debbie Boner more prominently (and oh yeah, her surname is Boner, I couldn't help but notice that), but her efforts are not enough to liven up this quite tepid offering (and it's not her fault really, as it was a hopeless cause from the start). Granted, there are far worse offerings from the period in question (some inexplicably well regarded among collectors, for no fathomable reason), but I'm afraid this particular flipside won't ever see much of the needle side in your turntable, if you know what I mean. Not a record worth selling your soul to the devil in order to obtain a copy, you see, but still an artifact of some interest for those willing to have a sizeable pre-NWOBHM collection, most of all due to the A-side. Most copies still in circulation are somewhat expensive, but I have learned of people who managed to find it in bargain bins around the London area not so long ago, so keep an eye out for it (not that you would miss its eye-catching cover, of course) if you happen to be around this particular area on a regular basis.

I have absolutely no idea whatever happened to Full Moon in the years after this release (and if you happen to know any detail, even the slightest, you're more than welcome to drop us a line), but I think it's safe to assume they didn't really survive into the 1980s, given that there's little to no mention to live outings or any further appearances at the height of the NWOBHM influx. Maybe it was a matter of bad timing really. Whatever the case, fact is that guitarist Gary Boner (yeah, his surname is Boner, how funny is that, right?) and bass player Bill Hobley kept plugging in with a blues rock outfit named Roadhouse (not to be confused with Pete Willis' post-Def Leppard project), a reasonably successful proposition that is pretty much active to this day. It's a strong indication that these guys were never that much into metal at all, but it's heartwarming to learn that at least some of them are still involved with the music scene.

Tony Trott (V/G), Debbie Boner (BV), Gary Boner (G), Bill Hobley (B), Steve Parsons (D).

01. Stand Up 3:56
02. Fly Away 4:14

Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me (drequon@gmail.com) and let me know!

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