20 for ’15: Moon Duo – Night Beat

Part 4 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015

I only ever apply Moon Duo in small doses. They’re much like Ripley Johnson’s (current? Former?) day job Wooden Shjips in that they tend lock into a guitar and organ freak out so willingly that their records all sound about the same. It’s a potent groove when they get into it but unless you’re spending your days in a weed addled fog it does get tiresome. And if you are: good for you. I’ve had moments listening to them at their most indulgent in entirely the wrong context and thought to myself, “it must be nice for this not to sound terrible.”

But now and again Moon Duo nail that one groove so well I can’t ignore it. I am not a man known for dancing in public – occasional ill advised 7th pint foray to the dance floor notwithstanding – but Night Beat always grabs me, starting at my shoulders and working it’s way downwards. I caught myself swaying at the Tesco self-service checkout the other day – I came dangerously close to breaking the age old rules of British reserve and visibly enjoyed myself in public. Without the aid of alcohol no less. Which would not do.

Also I was carrying a worryingly phallic looking butternut squash – I didn’t want to lose myself in the rhythm in case I opened my eyes and found myself accidentally waving it suggestively in the face of the young girl in the queue behind me.

Everyone knows that famous Einstein quote about repeating an action and expecting different results. It gets bandied around a lot these days – I blame Far Cry 3 and it’s desperate flailing for profundity. But I’m guessing Einstein didn’t listen to much psych rock. If he did he’d know that sometimes if you keep hammering away at the same template the results will go boring-boring-boring-gold. Moon Duo are one of the few bands I’m willing to wade through all the dull unsuccessful attempts to find the moments that prove ol’ Johnny Relativity to be wrong. He may have done alright with science but he knew fuck all about writing a psych rock banger.

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