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Moving Units - EP

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Album Review

On their self-titled debut EP, the Moving Units present four catchy, if not entirely convincing, expressions of the post-punk-disco revival. The band's influences — which include Gang of Four, ESG, A Certain Ratio, and a hint of Wire — are so solid that it would be difficult to create bad music inspired by them, but the Moving Units don't do much that transcends their inspirations, either. Unfortunately, the group also pales a bit in comparison to some of their contemporaries who mine the same influences and musical territory: they're not as menacing or kinetic as the Liars, as lyrical as Out Hud, as expansive as the Rapture, or as immediate and attitude-driven as Radio 4. Still, Moving Units is by no means bad; particularly on the EP's first two songs, "Between Us & Them" and "X and Y," the group brings a uniquely androgynous twist to their angular-yet-danceable sound, mixing fey, almost trilled vocals and pretty guitar tones with urgent rhythms. The oversaturated, basement-quality production on the EP also gives it an added credibility boost (and covers some weak lyrics like: "I know it's so sleazy/But you cannot resist because it's so easy" from "Melodrama"). Right now, the Moving Units are competent but not especially original within the style they've chosen to express themselves; that said, their songs work well enough in the moment so that it's hard to hold their lack of originality against them, particularly if you're partial to any of the bands — past or present — to which they're similar.


Formed: 2001 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Los Angeles' post-punk revivalists Moving Units were formed by original members Blake Miller (vocals), Johan Bogeli (bass), and Chris Hathwell (drums), formerly of the hardcore band Festival of Dead Deer. After their breakup in 2001, the new group formed -- adding Victor Velasquez on guitar -- and began writing and gigging. They expanded their exposure with dates at festivals like This Ain't No Picnic earning them wider attention even before they had any releases. Moving Units signed to Festival...
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Moving Units - EP, Moving Units
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