A couple years back, I reviewed Moon Bandit’s last full-length release, Action Changes Thinking, and wrote, “This album is, in the most wonderful way, apocalyptic. The end is here. A new beginning is upon us.” Property Damage: A Love Story continues that vision only—if this is possible—in a much more poignant, time-sensitive way. Take, for example, the song “Joe.” It is easily my favorite track on the record and possibly the most personal to Tommy, banjo player and singer. It tells the story of a young man who starts an ACLU-influenced, students’ rights organization on his high school campus and is eventually the victim of physical abuse by the campus police officer. As the song says, the officer loses his job but the speaker’s life is ruined by resentment, anger, drugs, and alcohol as a result of the stress of the incident and the court hearings that follow. Tommy and Astrid, the dynamic duo behind Moon Bandits, would be the first to point out that, being white, they do not know the full extent of police oppression in the United States. But, in a year when there seems to be another example of police abuse in the news on a daily basis, songs like “Joe,” “It’s Gonna Roll,” and “We Ain’t Lazy” are important and need to be written, sung, screamed, sung along to, and taken into the streets, living rooms, venues, bars, city halls, churches, schools, public spaces, and occupied territories of the world.
–John Mule (Diet Pop)