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Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol. 1 album review

They’ve got a fuzz box and they’re gonna use it

Cover Art for Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol. 1

Though their touchstones are still the fuzzed guitars of the early Cramps and Suicide’s prime-time electronic throb, to suggest that Moon Duo (now confusingly expanded to a trio) haven’t moved on is like saying that a Boeing 747 is hardly an improvement on the Wright Brothers’ Flyer 1.

On Occult Architecture Vol. 1, the first of two volumes – the second is scheduled for later in 2017 - inspired by occultist and spiritual writers such as Aleister Crowley and Mary Anne Atwood, Moon Duo move into heavier and darker sonic terrains. Opener The Death Set sets the pace with a groove so filthy that a shower is called for, while Cross-Town Fade pumps at a teeth-grinding pace thanks to Sanae Yamada’s synths and Ripley Johnson’s psychedelic guitar freak-outs.

Still favouring extended excursions (see White Rose), their acquaintance with melody is developing into first-name terms to create a fabulously hypnotic trip.

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.