BY FRED MILLS
Google “moyamoya” and most likely your first hit will be the Wikipedia entry—for the illness of the same name. Moyamoya is listed thusly: “A disease in which certain arteries in the brain are constricted. Blood flow is blocked by the constriction, and also by blood clots.”
Moyamoya the band, however, aims to get your blood pumping.
The instrumental trio hails from Jacksonville, Florida, and on their Facebook page they further explore the titular term: Moyamoya means, “in Japanese, a puff of smoke.” That’s apt, too, for these simultaneously intimate and explosive tunes exist within the realm of surprise; by the time you’ve begun to get a handle on ‘em, they’re gone, the band moving on to its next sonic extrapolation. Comparisons can be made to Mono or Explosions In the Sky, or even (at times) Mogwai, but that doesn’t necessarily suggest the raw beauty experienced herein, on the band’s debut.
Lengthy opening track “Sorry I Called You He-Man,” for example, blends delicate arpeggiated riffs with moodily pulsing shards of droneage, only to build to a near-symphonic wail. Later, in “Open Letter to a Football Hero,” one is transported via furiously-scrubbed fretboards and shimmery organ to an alien landscape, the wide-open-spaces/lonely ambiance pervasive. And on the brilliantly titled “I Don’t Need an Advocate, I Need an Exorcist” (instrumental bands have rarely employed their song-naming option quite so colorfully as this group), a tension-inducing arrangement hearkening back to vintage early ‘70s psych/prog brings everything back down to earth; the song would border on “boogie” were it not so math-centric.
All in all, a challenging and dynamic new contender in the nu-instro realm. Pressed on eye-popping marbled grey vinyl to boot. Strap on those jetpacks, kids, you’re in for crazy ride.
DOWNLOAD: “Sorry I Called You He-Man,” “Full-On Half-Wit”