Bong’s Mike Vest is a busy man. Haikai No Ku’s third record Temporary Infinity is the first he’s involved in released in 2016 – there’ll be a good few more by the end of the year. If there are any better then I can’t wait to hear them. However if there are any more dense and frightening then I’ll need to psych myself up a bit first.
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.
I like Hey Colossus! And I like Hotel Wrecking City Traders. So it stands to reason that I’m really going to like this split single, right?
Or am I?
…well, yes. Yes I am. I do hope you weren’t expecting a surprise twist there.
When Fck Ldn (not to be confused with the recently launched Vice offshoot with a very suspiciously similar name) asked me to talk about 10 of my favourite psych/doom/sludge/stoner bands currently active in the UK and gave me an excuse to compile another playlist – well, I leapt at the chance. I went away, buried my head in strange, narcotic noise and wrote this little article here.