REVIEW: LunariaN – Experimental Thinking EP

Band: LunariaN
Album: Experimental Thinking EP
Release: 2010
Label: Phoenixx Records
Genre: Synth alt-rock

Hailing from South Jakarta in Indonesia but signed in England, LunariaN bring an interesting blend to the music scene with the release of their début EP, Experimental Thinking. Experimental surely is the keyword in that title, as the band flow through a mix of alt-rock, industrial synth and folk to create one of the most diverse opening salvos in modern rock.

The four-piece come out guns blazing with “Fire”, weaving synths with distorted guitars over an alternative rock beat, not unlike a cross between Linkin Park and Nine Inch Nails. Ismaya as frontman handles synth duties, shares guitars with Anink, whilst also possessing a pleasant and catchy mid-range voice. The guitars themselves provide either driving alt-rock chords or floating melodies mixing with strings such as in the soft Radiohead-inspired “Juicy Eyes”, a great track marred only by the very weak lyrics. Classical also plays another role in the baroque-influenced piano intro to the powerful Muse-esque closer “Scream Sonata”, easily the most mature track and my personal favorite. Immanuel’s bass is given a melodic voice in “Generation In A Deadline”, which also contains a jarring “Frère Jacques” re-interpretation and some bizarre ‘lunar’ sound effects, and the sanest instrument, Ekky’s drumkit, maintains a steady rhythm throughout.

I disagree with the band’s claim of being akin to Rammstein, when the only influence shown is in the Indonesian-language “Etalase Debat Manekin” (or Mannequin’s Debate Window), a crazy industrial punk rock tune that is sure to be fun live. The language barrier does seem to be an issue in general, with the lyrics suffering as a result: “I am made of oil/Water hates me, really hates me” and “Emotion disorder, running to my nail/How can I shut my ear?” are two of the slightly skewed results. My other major critique is that each track feels as though in sections, and lacks a true cohesion of a song, such as in “Fire”, where an acoustic break is shoehorned in but sticks out noticeably. However, these mistakes are more lessons for the band to learn, given their relatively young age.

After heavy self-promotion, LunariaN are starting to build a solid fanbase despite their slightly unorthodox location. With Experimental Thinking under their belt, they can now turn their attention to drawing more fans into their unique yet enjoyable sound, and solidifying this sound with the release of a full-length album. Experimental Thinking is available to stream here, I HIGHLY recommend “Scream Sonata”.

Rating: 7/10

Song to try:

4 responses

  1. Well-written review, I agree completely!

    August 19, 2011 at 8:24 pm

  2. ian

    After hearing them a few times, I suppose the lack of cohesion and breakdowns you said are part of their experimental side, they just need to be heard more than one time. I tracked other reviews of these guys, some said the arrangement is too clever and I agree. I got no problems with their English either.. But anyway, this is a nice review.. And a great band. Thanks to your site, I’m an instant fan.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    • Hey Ian, thanks for your thoughts on the review!
      I agree that the band need multiple spins to full ‘get’ this EP, I was merely pointing out the bits that stuck out for me as a listener. With regards to the English, it’s not that there are particular grammatical problems, it’s more the concepts don’t really translate so smoothly on paper.
      That said, I’m glad that you enjoy the band so much, it’s always a nice feeling to introduce someone to music they love.

      September 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

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