Racing: Must Be the Moon (digital outlets)

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Racing: Must Be the Moon (digital outlets)

The Beths' Expert in a Dying Field debuting at number one on the album charts raises speculation if there might be a renewed appetite for guitar-driven rock.

If so, Auckland's Racing are in pole position with this heroic, self-produced second album.

Racing have considerable pedigree: singer Ed Knowles and guitarist/keyboard player Sven Pettersen were in the chart-busting, award-nominated and popular Checks, Daniel Barrett (bass, keys) came from psychedelic rockers Sherpa and drummer Izaak Houston from Space Creeps.

As Racing they've been together six years, have had successful singles at rock radio and opened for Th' Dudes, Liam Gallagher, Primal Scream and others.

Must Be The Moon opens with a thrilling trifecta: the chest-to-the-storm sound of the early single Southern Lovers; the dancefloor groove of Flashback then In Silver, the nagging hard rock offspring of Blondie's New Wave pop built for a phone-waving stadium crowds.

It's not all majestic – the catchy High For My Lovers is more mirrorball pop – but the breadth of sound and the mix by top British engineer Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Ocean Colour Scene) puts some of this in similar territory as The Verve's grandeur (evident on The Soul).

Ain't It Crazy brings to mind the rock-disco crossover which Golden Harvest once effected so successfully.

All these references are compliments

Must Be The Moon is smart and diverse within the genre of guitar-driven rock with multiple entry points for those looking for exciting, wide-screen music beyond the Beths.

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You can hear and buy Must be the Moon at bandcamp

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