SoCal Punk Rockers Moonraker See The Forest From The Trees On New Album

4.6 out of 5 stars

The So-Cal punk band Moonraker has been putting out some hard hitting punk songs for close to a decade now, and their new album The Forest is a great addition to their catalog. For those who may have never heard of the band, you may make comparisons to bands like Face to Face or even a band like Pulley (which coincidentally has an album coming out on the same day) in order to know if you would be into the band or not.

I personally think the music is pretty damn good, and this album is a tightly constructed, in-your-face punk soundtrack to the last few years of life. It is especially poignant for a band that was on the verge of breaking down just a few years ago.

The album starts out with a spoken word instrumental called “Incendium” to set the tone for the album (which definitely reminds me of Big Choice from Face to Face). The idea is that there’s a class system or “inner circle” that most of us (especially punks) aren’t allowed to move up or move into. It ends with the phrase, “So what. Screw them!” Pretty fitting for a punk album.

The first full track on the album is “My First Rodeo” which is a pretty rocking and starts the album off on a fast track which is exactly what I like to see at the beginning of an album.

“Mouth Full of Rust” is a good use of both singers (Nick Shambra - lead vocals, bass and David Green - vocals, drums), and the lyric video for the song has a ton of classic movie clips slapped together which is pretty cool too. I really like the line, “Speak with a silver tongue, but I sleep in an iron lung / and I wake up with a mouth full of rust.”

The latest single off the album is “The Great Glass Elevator” which Green says was in his words, “Inspired by an anxiety attack I had in the elevator of a hotel while I was delivering someone food. I don’t know if the person could tell I’d been crying in the elevator, but when they opened the door and saw me with their sandwich, they said something like, ‘Oh man, you’re my favorite person in the whole world!’ which made me feel better. But then realizing that THAT made me feel better made me feel even worse.”

I think one of my favorite songs on the album is “Autumn” because not only does it smash you in the face with its thunderous sound, but it does have a breakdown within it that gives you a moment to actually pay attention to what you are hearing.

The best video on this album so far is definitely for the song, “The Better Man” which is a parody of the NPR Tiny Desk concert series and shot in a small office that the band says is the office of  Green’s brother. The song rocks pretty hard too.

The band mentioned in an interview with Punk Rock Theory that this album was created after Green basically was at his wit’s end after being on tour in 2019, and then they got all their gear and their vehicle were stolen in Mexico, and that basically became a rock bottom moment. 

The band then started to put itself back together just in time for quarantine which meant that there was time to regroup and start over again.

The whole album is a ton of fun to listen to, and I would absolutely recommend this album to anyone who likes SoCal pop punk. It’s going to be one of the albums that you get stuck into without having to invest a ton of dissecting because the lyrics and subject matter are pretty upfront about what is happening (not like a political thesis about the state of the world or anything like that).

Definitely one of my favorite punk albums of the year so far.