Uneasy Laughter is the sophomore album from L.A. post-punk trio Moaning. Released on Sub Pop records this past March, Uneasy Laughter finds the band exploring a new sonic direction, moving from the guitar-laden dreamscapes of their self-titled debut to adopt a synth-y 80’s sound.

The album’s opener, “Ego,” harkens back to danceable dark wave. It’s a strong track with an impactful bridge that leads into the closing verse.

As heard in Big Sonic Heaven, “Connect the Dots” is a quirky pop song with space age effects as if you were travelling through an Atari game. Its atmospheric sound is paired with an equally quirky avant-garde video:

The pinnacle of the album is “Fall in Love,” which sounds as if it could have been released in early 1981 between the end of Joy Division and the morph into New Order, blending the styles of the two bands into 4:22 of nostalgia.

Overall, Moaning’s second full-length release is a welcome recycling of early-80’s new wave/post-punk revival with a 2020’s sensibility. The songs are artfully baked in electronics and packaged around introspective, sometimes somber, lyrics.

With the style pivot from the first to second albums, it will be interesting to hear where Moaning goes from here.

Rick Bourgoise
Big Sonic Heaven Radio Contributing Writer

Big Sonic Heaven is a 24/7 Internet radio station dedicated to the ethereal sounds of shoegaze, dream pop, post-punk, trip-hop, etc. Listen to the artists featured on the blog and discover more by downloading the app for iPhone and Android or listen at bigsonicheaven.com.