Lunar Clock - The Scream of Nature

Lunar Clock evolved out of the band Rams & Bulldogs that focused primarily on playing songs by The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings. When the band fell apart in 2014, Robin Boer and Dirk de Gooijer (bass and guitar) moved on writing their own original material. Then drummer Karsten van Straten joined the band, and after different unsuccesful guitarist and additional keyboardist auditions De Gooijer left. Shortly after bass player Achille Regazzoni and guitar player Shardan Stream joined, forming the current line-up of Lunar Clock in 2015.

At first the musical approach was focused on progressive pop, with a mixture of The Beatles, 10cc, ELO and early 70s symphonic rock. After the departure of De Gooijer, Boer decided to stick to the 70s symphonic influence, because of some musical ideas based on the famous Edvard Munch painting 'The Scream Of Nature' which were played in that style, with mellotron, Moog synthesizers and Moog Taurus bass pedals. Both Boer and Stream developed the suite, which turned out into a 40 minute piece of music. Although the band rehearsed the material for quite some time, at a certain point it became a sole studio project.

The band starts its debut album with a short a capella piece entitled Frieze that strongly evokes The Byrds and early Yes, due to the cheerful vocal harmonies. Then a spacey sound in Skrik (Scream), halfway a sumptuous outburst featuring Moog synthesizer flights and powerful drum beats.

The next song Sadness Under The Belt of Venus delivers first a tight beat in a bombastic climate, then a dreamy atmosphere that contains warm vocals and piano (Kayak inspired)), wonderfully blended with sensitive electric guitar and Mellotron flute, and subtly ending with Brian May-like guitar. Now variety rules in A Winter Storm On Spring Blossoms. First a swinging rhythm with jazzy electric piano runs, along clavinet and soaring strings. Halfway a flashy synthesizer solo with use of the pitchbend button, and a wah wah sound, very spectacular! And finally a fiery guitar solo with howling runs, in a spacey fading out.

Next the dreamy track Equal Adoration, a beautiful and refined blend of styles featuring theatrical vocals with delicate piano play (like Seventies Queen), a Mellotron flute and finally tender classical guitar play, really a nice musical idea.

Back to more powerful music in Bridge Of Anxiety: a catchy beat and a bombastic atmosphere, coloured with rock guitar, Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer, the more dynamic side of the band.

In Despair again the sound of Kayak is obvious with wonderful piano and warm vocals, topped with vocal harmonies and sensitive electric guitar, romantic symphonic rock at its best.

In the final part of this album Lunar Clock ‘goes epic’ in a 3-part composition entitled Metabolism (I. The Tree Of Life, II. Mother Nature’s Sanctuary and III. Spring). The first piece starts with melancholical classical orchestrations and subtle volume pedal guitar work, finally tender classical guitar runs, and short sequencing, another fine musical idea from the band. The second part delivers lots of flowing shifting moods (from a slow rhythm to bombastic eruptions), blended with warm vocals, varied guitar work (classically, distorted and Brian May-like), Mellotron flute and sparkling classical piano, often Seventies Queen and 10cc come to my mind. The third and final part is my highlight on this album: it begins dreamy with a steel guitar-like sound and Mellotron violins, then spacey Moog flights join, followed by an intense and beautifully build-up guitar solo (in the vein of Nick Barrett from Pendragon), topped with Mellotron violins and again Moog flights, this is a Symphonic Rock Heaven, the strong climax of a fine and varied album.

© 2020 Erik Neuteboom