Plain red background with the album title, Are You Kind? In the top center and the band name, Moon Dunes on the bottom center. In the middle there is a collage of newspaper and magazine cut-outs of women, men and children with several of the cut-outs repeating.

Moon Dunes: Are You Kind? Album Review

By Tania Zapien
Music Journalist

Local pseudo-psychedelic favorites, Moon Dunes released their debut album Are You Kind? on May 10. If you are not familiar with this San Marcos indie staple, you have been missing out! We got a chance to hang out with the guys a while back when they were chosen as Band of the Week and got them in for a Studio C Session, which is a must see!! This long anticipated release was well worth the wait and will be your go-to for those low-key summer afternoons.

The first song that stood out to me was the second track titled “Light Pipe”. With a melodic guitar solo followed by poppy drum beats and tied together with mellow vocals, this song instantly transports you to a sunny day on the California coast. Like most of Moon Dunes’ songs on this album, melody, rhythm and speed change about halfway in, giving way to an intricate and creative breakdown that will have you convinced you are listening to a different song. Musically, it can be tricky to make these changes sound good, but Moon Dunes makes it work to their advantage.

The third track titled “Novelty”, is basically Mac Demarco meets surf rock. Its soft and airy with just the perfect amount of guitar riffs and drum fills to keep you head banging while you hang upside-down off the edge of your bed. This sweet tune feels like being in a dream making it one of my favorites on this album.

Remember those breakdowns I mentioned? The best one by far starts right in the middle of track four, titled “Blackbyrd”. A grungy guitar solo followed by a static drum fill feeds into a bass line so funky that Flea himself would be impressed. Musically, I think this is the most impressive track on the album, perfectly showcasing the talents of all members.

Finally, track five which is titled “Unfriendly Neighbor” is the song you want to play as you drive around town with the windows down. It has the catchiest guitar riff in the album and existentially relatable lyrics that will have you singing along in no time. This is the one that will get stuck in your head, in the best way.

Overall, Moon Dunes proves to be one of San Marcos’ most solid and promising bands right now. Head over to their Facebook page to be the first to know about upcoming shows and give them a follow on Instagram.

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