Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Moon Duo – Horror Tour EP

Halloween and no trick or treaters came to my door ... the fear that lives behind its ordinary-looking facade ... the depths of sheer terror contained within ... or perhaps it's just because it rained cats and dogs last night. Ah. That'd be it. Also this Halloween let me tell you that I failed miserably in my planned trip up to town to see the Hawklords and their (early) Halloween party at the O2 Islington and I failed just as miserably at not eating some of the Halloween cup cakes that Janet had conjured-up for the kids. On the other hand, I did watch Flavia Cacace in that catsuit on the Halloween edition of Strictly Come Dancing – rumours that my eyeballs had to be peeled off the television screen are, well, almost factual – and I did receive, though haven't had a chance to listen to yet, an interesting looking record on the Silent Uproar label, Zero Over Zero by Stemage, which notes itself inspired by George Romero's 1978 masterpiece Dawn of the Dead and which I'll be writing up in due course. And I did get a promotional download of a new EP by one of my current favourite bands, Moon Duo, itself with a Halloween twist and a Halloween release date.

This is four tracks of Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada's fuzz-laden gothic space rock architecture; really simple stuff, all guitar riffs and weird electronics and predominately instrumental and yet really intricate soundscapes as well, so just completely deceptive in its spot-on accessibility that drags you in by the scruff of the next and then plasters its layers over you. Primal, guttural and yet crystalline and beautiful and yet big and bold and panoramic and just everything that you want this sort of stuff to be. It exudes swagger while being pensive and introverted. It's fearsome and heavy yet it weighs itself in gossamer and feels at the same time fragile and febrile.

I believe it's a limited to 1,000 12" release on Souterrain Transmissions - but there's some more detail on their Facebook Page – and if you've not heard them before then this is a damned good place to start. 'Horror Tour' itself is brooding and pensive, reminds me of something that I can't quite put my finger on, perhaps a slowed down 'Dream of Isis' or 'Honky Dory' from Hawkwind's Astounding Sounds era but it's not quite that, but what is, it's a track that's deliberately prowling, taking in its surroundings, feeling its way through the darkness. 'Causing a Rainbow' is bright and articulate, vibrant and life-affirming. 'Sickener' seems oddly-named in its equally bright starting-point but blends itself into the darkness with wrenching sound-effects and loads of the trademark fuzz while 'Circle of Evocation pt. 2' is the play-out respite, a different tone altogether, curious, quiet, sort of grey but aqua-blue and still attention-grabbing for it. You know what, just get this record.

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