I recently discovered the Canadian singer/songwriter Billy Moon when I was contacted about reviewing his latest EP That Which You Can’t Throw Away, which dropped in September. Billy hails from Hamilton, Ontario, and plays a terrific and thoroughly engaging mix of alternative garage, post-grunge punk rock. As he states in his Facebook bio, “Stop listening to bad music, and listen to ShittyRocknRoll (the name of his pretty respectable 2013 debut EP). After an invitation like that, how can you possibly resist?
Hallmarks of Billy’s infectious music are his honest, straightforward lyrics, fine guitar work and beguiling vocals. His unique sound is influenced by such bands as JEFF the Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet, Makeout Videotape, PS I Love You, Frank Zappa and Surfer Blood. That Which You Can’t Throw Away features five great tunes that address the ups and downs of love and youthful angst, while showcasing his creative songwriting and musicianship. Let’s dig into the songs.
The first track “Butterfly – Boyfriend’s Car” starts things off with Billy singing “I just want to cut the brakes on your boyfriend’s car. Listen to you cry as I hold you in my arms.” The buzzing bass riffs on this track are extremely good, as well as on “Long Drawled Out Story That Goes Nowhere – Sam + Alex” – a song about a couple who can’t decide whether or not they want to be together.
The wonderful track “Different Song (Same Girl)” speaks to the awkward, heart-tugging experience of meeting someone and immediately falling for them, hoping they feel the same about you. The song has a bit of a throwback doo-wop surfer vibe that conjures up images of a romantic summer evening by the beach. Billy’s heartfelt vocals perfectly convey his vulnerability: “Oh would you be so kind, as to tell me I’m fine. /I got a brand new leather jacket, that covers up all the holes in my shirt. Don’t be nasty. Say you like it.” His beautiful falsetto vocals in the chorus are sublime.
My favorite track on the EP is “Roads,” a tasty post-grunge tune with a catchy hook and languid beat. Our ears are treated to more of Billy’s awesome fuzzy guitars and compelling vocals. His falsetto and guitars in the chorus remind me a bit of Tame Impala (whose sound I adore). The lyrics address feelings of wasting time and not getting anywhere as the world passes you by. “Seems all the kids went out to Bangladesh. While I just stay at home and bang my head. Always in motion and always at rest. To sounds of people so alive some day. Somebody tell me what the fuck did I do with all my friends.” The imaginative video shows Billy sitting next to his little camper at night, smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer as he sings the song. An animated video plays on an inset in front of the camper, almost like a big flat screen TV.
“Ghosts” offers up more exceptional post-grunge sounds and powerful lyrics. “I am armed and I’m defenseless. Blind and naked in the dark. And all we do is try. We thrash around in the dark trying to find room. Trying to find walls. Something to hold on to./I think so much, but I’m not getting any smarter.” The guitar work in the final third of the song is brilliant.
All in all, That Which You Can’t Throw Away is a first-rate EP. Support Billy by following him on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his YouTube channel. Stream his music on Spotify and Soundcloud, or purchase on Bandcamp .