Moving Units: ‘Damage With Care’ moves bodies and minds

By pcsanchez7505

Whenever I try to describe Los Angeles band Moving Units to friends I usually get a confused reaction from them. It’s not because they’re not good, but because the band is best described as a punk dance collaboration. With so many different elements and sounds that come together, Moving Units are better experienced than described.

Their latest album, “Damage With Care” is a great example of the band’s work and singer Blake Miller’s creative vision to move bodies and minds alike.Released April 8, the album is a little dark and gritty but also genuine and infectious.

While its sound is raw and a little unrefined, it’s equally as beautiful and pure. Danceable backbeats meet punk inspired guitar riffs while Miller sings both in a croon and higher pitched tone. The band pulls influences from obscure French Goth bands and infuses darker elements into more upbeat melodies.

“Hyatt Girls” starts the album on an upbeat note, at least melodically. Miller sings about the fundamental desire to be with someone and isn’t afraid of being vulnerable: “the one thing we have in common is the one thing we need the most … we need someone to hold.”

“Opposite of Rhyming,” however, snarls its way into your mind with a rougher sound. It begs, it pleads, it ponders, but it also asserts an important question about beauty and aesthetics and how obsessing over it can lead us to pain. Miller does his best to frantically recite transcending lyrics over his band mates’ fast paced instrumentals.IMG_20160320_212255

“American Infantile” is reminiscent of a great Goth song with 80s pop influences. The bass lines and drum beats are so funky and prominent. It sounds like it belongs in the set list for an underground dance party, the kind filled with black attire and slinky vibes.

“Fragile Magic” paints a picture of opposing images. Beautiful women with troubled minds collide with good intentions and love becomes a fragile flame.

“Going Out” keeps with the album’s momentum. It asserts an urgency and distance all while pleading for a connection with someone or something.

“I think I’m going out of my mind, so tell me I’m fine or tell me I’m crazy.”

“House of Dolls” closes the album with an almost disco undertone. The chorus gets in your head and brings together dark and edgy with chic and sensual.

The album on a whole is a strange, beautiful and dark creation. It makes you dance, think and feel on a higher level all within its carefully constructed melodies. Sensuality and an innate hunger are weaved throughout the album, and Miller uses fundamental desires to pose poignant questions about society. Despite its hard exterior, there’s a vulnerability to this album that is refreshing.

“I wanted to get dark, but celebrational,” Miller said about the album’s sound and direction.

He and band mates Mike Delgado and Danny DeLeon worked tirelessly in their recording space in L.A. to craft their album and paid attention to every sonic detail.

Miller has been fronting Moving Units for the past 15 years and said working on this album has been very fun and inspiring.

“Damage With Care” is certainly not your typical music concoction, but if you’re not afraid of exploring a more obscure side of yourself, I highly suggest checking out Moving Units.

Moving Units kick off their “Damage With Care” tour with two shows in Southern California: May 26 in San Diego and May 27 in L.A. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook.

Essential Tracks: “Opposite of Rhyming” “House of Dolls” and “Fragile Magic”

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