Punk rockers, no matter who they are, constantly love to talk about how self reliant and DIY they are. Post-1982 punk rock still maintains a certain level of the old hardcore ethics, and this isn’t necessarily a band thing. It does get troubling when things get real dogmatic real fast.
Like anything else, if you have to constantly try to convince people you are something, the smart money says you probably aren’t. This is what makes Moon Bandits as good as they are. This is a band that actually stands behind what they are talking about. As such, Straight Thinking Means Plain Speaking is a sincere and enjoyable record.
As a two piece centered around a banjo and a violin, this is a folk punk record through and through. The lyrics cover various topics, mainly sticking to a political bent, but also heavy on community. It is certainly accessible. While it is overtly political in places, it never gets hamfisted about the meaning.
As far as “folk punk” goes, it has a lot in common with bands like Rosa. However, it remains a two piece, and there is not a “full band” feel to it. Once again this is basically banjo, violin, and vocals throughout.
As it is musically very simple (banjo, violin, and vocals), the lyrics are really the show here. There is a positive vibe about it. This is especially noticable in songs like “Community Love Song” and “It Starts Here.
“We will learn from each other
As we build something pure
We’ll teach each other to live
Learn the meaning of secure
This is the end of servitude
We will learn to sweep our own floors
Teach each other to love
We need no less, no more”
“Cause it’s more than fuck the system man
It’s holding out your god damn hand
Cause it’s not pushing each other down
It’s pulling each other up”
Honestly, it is just a good record from start to finish. While Moon Bandits might suffer because of the bias against the genre in the overall punk world, they are certainly strong enough to make some waves. Folk punk may have lost some popularity, but bands like this are proof that there is still blood flowing.
**Download is pay what you want, but you can also buy a physical version directly from the band (link to that on the BandCamp)