Ex-Black Nielson frontman Mike Gale and his collective return with Moon Lagoon, their fourth album in four years. Opening track "Turn It Around" is a clear statement of intent. Gentle acoustic strums swept along by synth and then blown away by power-fuzz guitar; a different Co-pilgrim to the harmony-pop exponents of yore, grittier and more robust. Both the second song, "You'll Look Pretty As a Picture When The Acid Rain Hits Ya" and title track feed '90s American alt-rock through Co-pilgrim's pop filter.
However, it is "Cylindrical Fire Escapes" which really showcases the ambition of the record; producer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Bennett paints an ethereal soundscape of swirling synths and chiming guitars, driven by Andy Reaney's rolling bass and bursts of pulsating rhythm from percussionist Mike Monaghan and beautifully transcended at the finale by Claire Bennett's soaring vocals.
Side 2 is more introverted, the delicately heartstring-tugging "Thank My Stars," preceding the baroque-pop of "I'm Not A Wallflower I'm The Wall" which then opens out into the weary psychedelia of "Digging Holes In The Whites Of Your Eyes." Gale's lyrical dexterity is as usual to the fore, underscoring a sophistication developed through years of honing his craft as a songwriter and a keen ear for a memorable tune.