8 Mar 2015
Moon Duo "Shadow of the Sun"
Reviewed by Dedric Moore (KC Psychfest, Monta at Odds, Gemini Revolution)
"Shadow of the Sun" kicks of with "Wilding" and it feels like Mood Duo hit pause at the end of "Circles" and waited to press play just to give us a breather. Moon Duo are experts at being Moon Duo and that makes them one of the most consistent acts around. The motorik beat fires us as organ and guitar riff and here we go again. "Wilding" jumps and keeps speeding along with plenty of room for the customary laid back vocals and space for some lead guitar to guide us along. "Night Beat" steps up next without a moment's hesitation, with a go-go dance swing beat, more organ, and an inner-satisfying groove. It just feels right and conjures visions of riding on a vintage motorcycle, cool factor to ten, and giving a head nod to people gawking on the street. "Free the Skull" is classic Moon Duo with its propulsive drums and guitar/organ riffing. The subtle synth work performs that magic trick of making the head-nod turn into the left-right head shake. "Zero" mixes up the formula with spooky drone synths that lay down some great eighties lost soundtrack melodies. It could get retro but avoids schtick and shows how Moon Duo continue to explore beyond what we've come to expect. This is my favorite song on "Shadow of the Sun". Every nuance including the subdued guitar solo are perfectly placed. The falling apart ending happens exactly when it should so we feel the need to hit rewind and jam it out again. "In a Cloud" fits its name with reverbed out snare and hippy guitar strum. We can't bounce around all night. Smoke break. "Thieves" brings it back with a proggy horror movie groove. This song is a close call with "Zero" as my favorite song. The band are locked in and you can feel the confidence in their playing. Chord changes drop in and then jump right back on the groove. I could hear this on repeat all day long. "Slow Down Low" lightens up the mood with some bouncy organ stabs and melody leads that has a bit of feel good 60's to it. "Ice" is the longest track and spends the first few minutes setting the groove with the steady kick and rhythmic layers of synths and organ so that when the guitar solo floats in you are prepped and ready to close your eyes and just "feel" it. "Animal" wraps it up with a snarling riff and punk beat to shake you out of your reverie and get back to bouncing off the walls.
"Shadow of the Sun" is the type of album that makes you want to do something. Jump around, grab a guitar or air guitar and strum along, groove like a go-go dancer, drive your car fast, something! It is about movement and momentum. Beats chug on and on while guitar and organ riff into a meditative state that is euphoric rather than contemplative. Get moving yourself. FEEL it. Moon Duo's great success is that I get this feeling every time I put it on, and that's been a lot. You need to buy "Shadow of the Sun" and experience this aural shot of adrenaline.
Available on CD, and vinyl.