Suzi Moon - Dumb and In Luv (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Suzi Moon

Dumb and In Luv (2022)

Pirate's Press

Suzi Moon pulls a cool trick on her debut LP, Dumb & in Luv- it’s a happy record! Now, like you, I love when Keith Morris is singing about losing his mind. I love when Danzig sings about blowing someone in half with a double-barreled shotgun. I love when David Johansen sings about being pilled out. But in a way, sadness/mania/chaos is easier to write about than being “happy.” A song about ripping out someone’s neck or being strung out generates an immediate visceral reaction. But, it’s kind of tough to say “boy, things are great!” without sounding like a tool.

Suzi does not sound like a tool on her new album. She sounds totally rad. Following the heels of two ramp-up Eps, the album feels like cathartic release. If anything, throughout the album, Suzi gives you permission to say to yourself, “maybe it is okay to not be miserable.” “money,” which is one of my favorite tracks, finds Suzi realization that a job that doesn’t care about her “uses up all of [her] precious time” and then she mentions that selling time, your most valuable asset, for money doesn’t make you free. She then revs the track into a rock-out freakout, soloing like Chuck Berry and Frank Agnew, before cutting the job loose. It feels like a victory call and it is.

On a similar cut, as per the album title, a lot of songs are lovey dovey. But, instead of it being schmaltzy, she and the band inject the album with hard riving punk that sits somewhere between Ramones, Hole, and the Dictators. Again, it’s to hear someone say “being in love is great!” That sentiment sort of gets dissed upon these days and I’m not sure why- about 50% of Motown is about just that and it is awesome. But, Suzi is wise enough to give the sentiment some edge. “I Go Blind” sounds like it’s a lough song but it’s actually about falling into self-destructive behaviors to please the other person when you know things aren’t right. At one point she talks about doing lines on the track and I wonder if the title is a sly reference to Sabbath’s “Snowblind.”

I should also mention that the band isn’t afraid to “rock.” These days, most indie bands are self-restrained and punk bands that kick it out lean towards more hardcore smashing then those sweet, sweet riffs. “99 miles to Pasadena” is a straight-up Eddie Cochran whipper. “Family Members” has that And Out Come the Wolves washed out Polaroid nostalgia backed call and response. There are a few ballads, which kind of remind me a Lita Ford, but even there, there’s a driving pulse underneath the slower tempo.

It's no coincidence the album ends with a track called “Freedom.” The whole album is a victory call and the prize is the subject of the title track. Reveling in self-destruction is nice and comforting, but that can also block you from achieving the flipside of the coin. This LP is the flip side.