Moon Duo – Mazes

January 01, 1970

(Sacred Bones)


On their second full-length and return to the Sacred Bones
label, Moon Duo prove they are much more than the Suicide-obsessed side project
of guitarist/frontman Ripley Johnson’s main vein, celebrated San Francisco
psych rockers Wooden Shjips.


Following up on their Woodsist one-off, last year’s
impressive Escape LP, Mazes finds Johnson and keyboardist
Sanae Yamada continuing to evolve their sound closer to something more
pop-based within the drone-rooted nature of their initial impetus. And nothing
on this eight-track set defines this sonic shift quite like the title cut, where
the keys and the six-string stand side by side as equal partners on a jangly,
organ-driven mind trip that is definitely more akin. On “When You Cut”,
Yamada’s Casio-esque rhythm patterns recall The Cars if they were big into
Terry Riley and John Cale’s Church of Anthrax,
while “Run Around” sees Johnson tapping into his most primordial origins in the
Bo Diddley beat theory. Meanwhile, “Scars” implements a dub-like, effects-thick
zone out that owes a great deal to the man who remixed the song on the recently
released 7-inch single, that being Mr. Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember.


If Moon Duo keeps up their rate of creative ascension at the
speed they are going, soon enough folks might start mistaking Wooden Shjips as their side project rather than the other
way around.


DOWNLOAD: “Mazes”,
“Scars”, “Fallout”, “Run Around” RON HART

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