| Without a
doubt the music on their just-completed 5-song self-recorded EP befits
a band that's both looking back and looking to the future. In an era
when indie rock is beginning to percolate into the mainstream, Landing
on the Moon is moving away from mopey jangle-pop instead embracing
a traditional rock ballad style that no one in the band is old enough
Songs like the Megan-fronted "She's Moving Out," and
the Klemmensen-sung chestnut "She Wants" are pure rock
theater reminiscent of "Love Hurts"-era Nazareth or John
Steinman-penned Meat Loaf -- the kind of songs kids used to slow
dance to at their high school proms.
"We didn't go in that direction intentionally," said
Megan, the band's primary songwriter whose day job as choral director
at Bryan Middle School had to have an influence on her style. "I
try to write music with classical roots that also rocks. Deep down
people want to listen to fun music, and everyone relates to a good
"We're all tired of whiny cry-yourself-to-sleep indie rock,"
said Oliver. "Megan and I knew after The Quiet Type broke up
in 2003 that we had to move away from the mathy/indie sound and
focus on something that featured more emotion in the music and lyrics."
Morgan's other band, Little Brazil, also is a departure from run-of-the-mill
indie rock, influenced instead by late-'90s college bands like Dinosaur
Jr. and Superchunk.
While members of Landing on the Moon perform in other bands --
Klemmensen is in Microphone Jones and Cox plays in Life After Laserdisque
and No Blood Orphan -- Little Brazil easily is the most time-consuming
and successful, having already completed a number of national tours,
including one with critics' darlings Tegan and Sarah.
With Landing on the Moon currently shopping their new EP to labels
and Little Brazil about to enter the studio to record the follow-up
to 2005's You and Me, how will Morgan keep one band from distracting
"I want to do what Tim Kasher does with The Good Life and
Cursive," he said. "Cursive is a machine that lives and
breathes on its own. Little Brazil runs itself as well. I think
the two bands can co-exist."
Scheduling tours shouldn't be a problem, he said, since Landing
on the Moon will focus its touring on the summer months when Megan
is on school break. While all have day jobs, hers is the most career-intensive,
and would be the toughest to leave should a label pick up the band.
It's a move, however, that she says she's willing to make.
"It'll be a big deal when I leave my job, because I love it,"
Megan said. "It'll be hard, but if I could play music 24 hours
a day, it would be worth it."
Published in The Omaha Reader Jan. 25, 2006.
Copyright © 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.