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Moon Duo Shadow Of The Sun Sacred Bones


Throughout the halcyon days of krautrock in the early 1970s, a clutch of seminal bands like Can, Faust and Neu! stared into the endless horizon of the avant-garde as they redefined the terms of popular music. Pivotal to all this was the invention of motorik, the genre’s famed propulsive rhythmic style. Fast-forward to the present and here we are with Moon Duo (Wooden Shjips’ Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada), who have worn one of krautrock’s most celebrated tropes as a sort of self imposed stylistic straitjacket ever since getting together back in 2009.

It’s a conceit that’s gradually grown increasingly debilitating and now on album number three, it’s no surprise that the twosome – recently augmented by drummer John Jeffrey – have nowhere left to go (although ironically enough Jeffrey is probably the most exciting thing about the record). Relative highlights like Night Beat and Ice superficially recall the likes of Suicide, Spacemen 3 and the Warlocks, though ultimately the organ is overbearing, the guitars are bloodless, the tunes aren’t strong enough and we’ve heard all of this many, many times before, not least from Moon Duo themselves.

If Johnson and Yamada ever had aspirations of making it to the moon, now they’ve come hurtling back towards earth at a rate of knots and the question is whether to try and change course, or abort mission altogether.