Moonraker is a band I can relate to. They make me laugh, they make me cry; they kinda feel like the Simpsons mixed with Jawbreaker. They do a great job channeling the comedy and tragedy of youth into the familiar template of midwestern punk. While I can definitely detect trace amounts of Dillinger Four and Lawrence Arms in their blood, Moonraker have managed to carve out a niche of their own consisting of endless pessimism and an internal monologue crueler than Micheal Jackson’s dad.

A few years ago they released their first album (that should have been on our best of 2016), and now have followed it up with ‘Lanterns’. Their new offering follows in the tradition of their first, 11 boozed soaked confessionals wrapped in a skatepunk formula with enough plot twists to keep it interesting. This album leans a bit more on the ragers and a bit less on the slowburns than it’s predecessor, but they still do a acoustic-ish song and a few carousel-esq bass riffs to break up the action.

Moonraker seem to be able to effortlessly jam a billion clever lines into a pop song without making it seem forced or awkward. It gives their albums a lot of replayability, finding new gems every time you spin them. This seems even more true on ‘Lanterns’, like Emperor Strikes Back vs. New Hope, the sequel has better character development and dialog:

“Gin and jealousy: not my best qualities.
They’re all getting sick of me and my Magic Johnson positivity.”

“The present is a gift you can’t return, cause you already opened it.
So let’s get something nice with our store credit and try to make the most of it.”

“The cooler containing my kidney is filled with
moderately priced champagne for two.”

Moonraker haven’t reinvented themselves on ‘Lanterns’, just focused more on what makes them great. They’re probably the best band making this kind of music right now, they deserve a spot right beside the Brokedowns and Dead Bars. Check’em out if you haven’t yet: