Follakzoid – III

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Follakzoid – III

I’m often disappointed but rarely crushingly so.  Follakzoid, however, manage to accomplish the task.  The Chilean post-Krautrock band’s 2013 album II was a stone highlight of the year, a perfect blend of motorik beats and the kind of songcraft that sounds best as its coming out of the stereo in a car winding it’s way through the mountains with the windows rolled down.  It, along with Lower Dens’ Nootropics, half-seriously threatened to bring about a new age of Krautrock in a world that probably didn’t need any more.

III, on the other hand, takes the concept of II and stretches it out too thin, like Bilbo Baggins after wearing the Ring for a decidedly long time.  People have been using the word “trance” with regards to III and while it fits, the positive way in which they’re using it baffles me.  This is not trance music like the Navajo use in their religious ceremonies.  This is trance music that lulls me into a trance because there’s nothing going on.  A simplified beat (compared to II at any rate), some spread-out harmonics, and a locked modular groove.  Twelve minutes later, we peter out on the exact same thing.  There’s little change, and there aren’t even subtle dynamic shifts.  There’s four tracks that do the same thing, three of which are in and around the twelve minute mark, and by the end of it you’ll see God in all His glory.

Just kidding!  I’ve never made it to the end, because it’s the same goddamn thing over and over again!  Maybe it sounds better on heavy psychedelics – but I didn’t need that for II.  It’s odd, I’m rarely disappointed with Sacred Bones releases, and yet here we are.

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Moon Duo – Shadow Of The Sun

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Moon Duo – Shadow Of The Sun

Moon Duo – a side project of guitarist Ripley Johnson, more known as a member of San Fransisco psych-rockers Wooden Shjips – have, on their fourth album, settled into a serious groove.  They play psychedelic rock, marry it to a motorik beat, and stir a whole lot of post-punk/New Wave tone throughout.  It’s an interesting mixture, even if it’s the same kind of music they were putting out in 2010; the old maxim of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” certainly applies to Moon Duo circa 2015.  If you’re into lysergic guitar solos, pre-cheese New Wave, or if the concept of a Feelies that came of age in Haight-Ashbury era San Francisco appeals to you, Moon Duo are the band you’re looking for.