Although they came out of Boston hardcore scene, Moving Targets also learned a great deal from their counterparts on SST Records and records like Husker Du’s landmark “Zen Arcade”. The band however, were far from being mere clones/imitators of sound of SST bands – their music certainly featured a distinctive Boston flair.
Moving Targets formed in 1981 as a trio of Kenny Chambers, Pat Leonard and Pat Brady. Their first break came in 1984 with a compilation called “The Bands That Could Be God”, a compilation of music by Boston bands produced by Gerard Cosloy, creator of Conflict zine and head of Homestead and Matador labels. Moving Targets contributed three tracks to the compilation – “Selfish”, “Waiting For The End” and “Changing Your Mind” and other bands on the compilation included Salem 66, Deep Wound (early incarnation of Dinosaur Jr.), Busted Statues, Flies, Outpatients Beanbag and Sorry.
All three tracks which appeared on “The Bands That Could Be God” were recorded with Lou Giordano, the founder of Boston’s Fort Apache studio, who had worked with Husker Du. Moving Targets recorded a 15-song demo with him and signed up with Taang! – a label which was also responsible for releasing records by Lemonheads and Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Their debut full-length was 1986 “Burning In The Water” – an explosive reocrd, which was clearly influenced by both Husker Du and Mission Of Burma and combined elements of hardcore, prog rock and classic rock. While originally it was an LP only album, it was since was reissued on CD along with their second full-length “Brave Noise”.
“Brave Noise” came out on CD in 1988 and was one of the first examples of indie labels toying with digital format. It was, once again, produced by Lou Giordano (and assistance by Carl Plaster) and the band replaced bassist Pat Leonard with Chuck Freeman, who also contributed vocals to the record.
Ultimately, however, Moving Targets outlasted Husker Du and released “Fall” in 1991 and their final album “Take This Ride” (both on Taang!) in 1993. By the mid 90s, only Chambers remained the original member of the band and he was joined by Jeff Goddard and Jamie Van Bramer, members of Boston band Jones Very. As a consequence, the album sounded like Chambers solo project, more than anything else and he did went on to release a number of solo records, including 1990 “Double Negative” and 1996 “Sin Cigarros”.
Outside of Moving Targets, Chambers also played with another influential Boston band – Bullet Lavolta, who opened played Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but still didn’t get much credit for their work. However, they became one of Boston’s most popular live acts in the 90s and played plenty of college shows with the likes of Lemonheads, Dag Nasty and Rollins Band.
Goddard went on to play with Lune and Karate, while Brady became a firefighter. November of 2008 also brought some sad news with death of former Moving Targets bassist Pat Leonard, who is universally remembered as an extremely nice person and intense musician.