Like biting into a strawberry lollipop, only to find shards of razor blades, this, the first half of a concept album project by eccentric Portland pair Moon Duo has one of the year’s greatest album titles thus far- Occult Architecture Vol 1,and is as that would suggest, both accessible and slightly off-kilter and esoteric. Based on the Yin principle of darkness, earth and femininity, it is a real grower, with a rich patchwork of styles and influences .

Buffed and polished, yet creepy and with a gnawing undercurrent ,the single Creepin’ is a little Jesus and Mary Chain; a bit garagey, and possibly the most straight-ahead track here. It’s Cross Town Fade which really gets under the skin, though, with its motorik pulsing and hypnotic drive, reminiscent of the best elements of Krautrock.

Will of the Devil‘s synth lines by Sanae Yamada feel like a late 80s gem , nagging like toothache, albeit more pleasant than that would suggest. White Rose  truly appeals, easily my favourite track , with the sugary tang of the melody line tempered by the thunder in Ripley Johnson’s growly guitar lead. Love it- and I bet it’s a bastard live.

(Lorna Irvine)


Released via Sacred Bones on February 3rd


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