Ode to L.A. while thinking of Alistarr and THE MOONCHASERS (-demos review by Pepsi Sheen)

The rocknroll underground is still in mourning, with a host of constellations paying homage to so many fallen stars-like Bootsey X, Scott Ashton, Leee Black Childers and the inspired glitter-doll Ultras poet, Alice Starr. We attempted to interview his former guitarslinger, Brian Butler–who also played with Rozz Williams in Daucus Karota and Kenneth Anger, via e-mail last year, but he never finished his reply, meanwhile, our best efforts to track down the enigmatic androgyne, Alistarr, had similarly proven ineffective. As many of you remember, the gloriously glam Ultras had been on Triple XXX records and were poised to carry on in the shadowy tradition of the Nymphs and Jane’s Addiction and 45 Grave with their spooky, spacey, death-punk vibes, Sabbath crunch, Bowie spectacle and Alistarr‘s unique charisma and star power. He had first gained recognition in the Sunset Strip faves, Stars From Mars, who Fred Berger made so famous in the pages of his glossy “Propaganda” goth boutique magazine. The Ultras saw Alistarr developing his highly potent wordplay and pop songcraft. They were one of those bands with a magical musical chemistry, like Hello Disaster, who just broke up too soon due to pointless personality conflicts. The Ultras were exciting and surreal, artistic, and fun. Alistarr briefly resurfaced in some bands few of us heard like the ill fated Dali Gaggers, and the Coils, he had many fans hoping to cheer his return to splendor, but it was not to be. The Galactic Kid has indeed gone sailing.

One of Alistarr‘s longtime friends and colleagues, Evad Fromme, has an underground cult band in Hollywood called Moonchasers, who will remind gutter punk and goth enthusiasts of all their favorite Hollywood noir punk bands. Live, they even sometimes throw-in a Coma-Tones cover! Great band, great songs! Look for them! They had some tunes up on Youtube and Reverb Nation that positively smoke, reminding me variously of Stiv Bators, Nick Cave, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Tom Waits. “Lazy Eye Blue” is a little reminiscent of the Ultras with the bratty vocal, but it has a real pleasing, Jim Morrison quality that fans of sixties psychedelics, like the Doors and Zombies will naturally gravitate towards. Their guitarist is amazing, they should play shows with Captain Zapped! “Billie For My Blues” is catchy, singalong genius that evokes all the skid row dives and sleazy strip joints of L.A. and will remind anyone who ever lived in the down and out gutters of deadend Tinsel Town of their own personal booze fuelled misadventures.

“Lunchbox Girl” is yet another pop hit, all retro bubblegum and starkly lit storytelling showcasing Evad’s fine vocals and literate sensibility. A modern-day “Hello I Love You”. It’s kind of like Iggy Pop, out on a weekend pass from the Kill City looney bin with Alice Cooper and Captain Beefheart on a stumbling pub-crawl between the Rainbow, Cathouse, English Acid, and Raji’s, in rumpled hats, stained shirts, bad shoes, with empty flasks. I love a band that is this cinematic. Their songs will remind you of Jim Jarmusch. Evad‘s on the ouji board summoning back the ghosts of Jim Morrison and Jim Carroll and Gio Vitanza. If you live in Los Angeles, this is your new favorite group. If you live elsewhere, they are worth seeking out on-line, because this band is the intelligent, visceral rocknroll experience you’ve been missing, since the media monopolies took down all the cool indie labels in the nineties. Startlingly vivid guitars, a top-notch rhythm section, and a creepy, charismatic frontman with an unnerving, provocative presence, a totally unique voice all his own, and serious songwriting ability. Hollywood vampires rejoice, rocknroll is still undead in the city of fallen angels. The MoonchasersEvad Fromme, Gabriel Hammond, Anthony Gezalyan, and Tom Sanford are stone killers. See their lonely minds explode.


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