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Künstler: The Gun Club
Label: Cleopatra


The Gun Club spawned a remarkable number of grey-market live albums given their modest cult following (some of the former members have admitted they sold tapes to record labels when money was tight), and Moonlight Motel is yet another collection of concert recordings from Jeffrey Lee Pierce's hoodoo blues-punk firebrands. The bulk of the material on Moonlight Motel was taken from a pair of shows in Holland in 1983, along with two tracks from a 1984 appearance on British TV, and while most of the live Gun Club albums from this period are uneven at best, this one is for the most part quite solid. The band is at its best on the material from Miami and The Las Vegas Story from a Rotterdam gig that fills the first half of the album, with the players sounding a tiny bit sloppy but full of fire, and Pierce's off-pitch vocals are fairly precise by his standards. The audio and performances on the other tracks aren't quite as strong, and it's hard to say why the compilers bothered to include an "interview" that mainly consists of a wasted-sounding Pierce introducing the band, but the album ends on a strong note with a furious version of the title track. Some brave independent label should compile a box set that gleans the highlights from the many semi-authorized Gun Club live albums in circulation, and if someone ever does, chances are the first half of Moonlight Motel should find a place on it, even if the rest is not so likely to make the cut. ~ Mark Deming