Road to the Bottle with Moon Duo

The Road to the Bottle for Moon Duo has not been especially long or arduous. The journey began in Portland, which these days is home for front man Ripley Johnson. From there they’ve made a line across the top of the country, with stops in Fargo, Minneapolis & Milwaukee before arriving at our doorstep to celebrate the release of their latest LP. We’re no strangers to Ripley and his work. His other group, WOODEN SHJIPS, celebrated the release of their breakthrough 2013 album, Back to Land, in front of a way sold out crowd right here at the Bottle. More reason to get here early tonight, since all the heads know this one is sure to be a ripper.

Ripley Testicle festival 3
(Testicle Festival – Welcome Bikers)

MOON DUO’s new album, Shadow of the Sun, remains true to Sanae Yamada and Ripley Johnson’s distinctly addictive, buzzy and fuzzy 70’s psych rock sound, but with a playfulness and ear for improvisation that shows the finesse they have developed within their musical style. With new percussive elements, compliments of their new drummer John Jeffrey, Moon Duo have created an album that perfectly walks the line between classic and refreshing.

Milwuakee The Fonz
(Hanging with The Fonz in Milwaukee)

A Moon Duo tune is instantly recognizable by their unmistakable repetitive, explosively metallic guitar riffs that make you feel like every sound wave is being dragged through a contorted mess of gnarled metal scraps, with the remaining shards of sound bursting into your chest at a steady, intense pace. Shadow of the Sun’s lead single “Animal” is a notable example of their delightfully aggressive groove.

Sanae Gas Station Montana
(Clean moves)

As each riff momentarily seems to fall in energy, it immediately catches itself in a loop of feverish rhythm, with simplistic guitar and synth melodies screeching in that grow and become colossal amongst the repetition. The slow progression somehow feels unrelentingly exciting with each new layer; it’s a buzzing plateau that never really reaches a point of static.

Ripley’s droning, warm vocals and Sanae’s occasional delicate whispers drift through the music and give you a satisfying melodic contrast this serves more to compliment the breaking instrumentals and make you want to dance.

Cactus Club soundcheck mirror
(Sound check at Cactus Club in Milwaukee)

The new album takes a sunny turn on tracks “Slow Down Low”, where bright keys and guitar licks are supported by a strong backbeat that feels reminiscent of early rock n’ roll.

Expect much of that familiar explosive kraut-rocking groove that made their earlier albums so energetic and addictive, but with fresh new interpretations on their distinctive sonic attack. Come dance under the Shadow of the Sun with MOON DUO tonight at the Empty Bottle as they take the stage for their fresh release.

Show @ 9. Verma & Richard Vain open. Cop some tix here, while you still can, ONLY $10, YEAH!!

I94 East - North Dakota
(The Road)

upside down road
(The Road?)

Posted March 3rd, 2015

Categories Road to the Bottle, This Week

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