Moon Duo – Mazes

Here we go with another case of “heard it in aQuarius” and even better, the album comes from a San Francisco band.  Moon Duo played in the store on a day I visted; unfortunately it was an hour after I left.  Checking email at home, I realized that the band playing was one I’d heard on the PA already.  I got Mazes and realized the band packs a ballsy psychedelic punch, towering over their peers.

Knocking me down with a slab of jangle drone (or is it caveman trance?) like nobody else today, Moon Duo are probably the first to truly nail this headspace since the bluesier end of Spacemen 3.  If you’re into Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Warlocks or Black Angels you need to hear this immediately – it flies straight through the sweet spot these bands have been skirting around for years.  Storming the White Light/White Heat monolith, the band pares this vibe into direct bursts of machine gun immediacy.  There are almost no intros to speak of; they simply step right on the hypno-rocking point and ride hard for several minutes.

If you’re into the kind of motorik-infused scuzzy bangers The Velvet Underground hinted they were capable of before Doug Yule fell from the sky, just listen already.  If you miss the days when psychedelia had a ragged edge and a pulse, you know what to do.

Come on, you know you liked it.  If not, take a shot of whiskey and repeat.

[buy this bad boy direct from Sacred Bones Records or any fine shop in person or online]

The Psychic Paramount – II

So I know I’ve been sluggish this year with Optimistic Underground.  I relish being able to share the music enriching my life with you.  I hope to rectify this laziness starting now, with The Psychic Paramount and their (hopeful) breakthrough album II.

I had this whole through-line about jet engines and surgical instruments and LSD and This Heat and Les Rallizes Dénudés and Miles Davis and cathartic volume levels…  but I got caught up, slack-jawed and blasting this album again.  It’s almost like a psychedelic brillo pad, carving clear my thought channels and surrendering my body to oblivion.  A therapeutic breakdown of cogent narrative, this thing blasts away the outside world and disconnects me, sets me free in a way only the most blissed out Lovesliescrushing or hard droning Boris album can.  It strikes an unknown sweet spot, defying gravity while splaying my brain with crushing heft.  Crucial to this power is the flawless production, zooming in on every microscopic detail yet capturing the panoramic magnitude these songs inhabit.  A dizzying high wire act of wide-eyed clarity, this album satisfied me in places only a fellow Swans or John Coltrane or Fennesz fan would recognize.

Second track DDB, opening with one of the more gentle passages on II, grows like marshmallows in the microwave, devouring 9 minutes in a wild-fire.

While I’m dropping names, I should mention that if you like Boredoms, Eternal Tapestry, Lightning Bolt, Fushitsusha, or anything within orbit of those bands, you will find yourself punch drunk and melting to this album.

[Released by No Quarter, the album is available at the label’s page for only $11 on cd or vinyl.  So get it there.  Listen to the free stream while you wait.]