Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples

by Tim Sentz Rating:6 Release Date:2018-10-05
Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples
Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples

Kikagaku Moyo in English translates to “geometric patterns” which is the most accurate description one can give this Japanese psych-rock band. Beginning in 2012, Moyo has released a handful of LPs and EPs, most recently Stone Garden, a 30-minute burst of tripped out melodies that gained the band a bit more exposure across the pond. Their newest effort Masana Temples finds them continuing their string of solid but still safe recordings.

“Dripping Sun” is the proper opener after an instrumental “Entrance,” and it showcases the folky side of the band with its slow building guitars before whipping us into a King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard-size psych noodle near the end - fans of recent Thee Oh Sees records will find much to get behind on this near 8-minute opus, but for those looking for a bit more meat to go with the potatoes might want to look elsewhere.

The 50% folk/50% psych runs throughout Masana Temples, “Nazo Nazo” is a porch rocker, and Moyo never take things to the yard, keeping it just a bit too tame. Whereas other genre staples like Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats are willing to cut loose, Moyo are content with just chilling through the track, and while the beat on “Fluffy Kosmisch” seems reminiscent of Deerhunter’s “Nothing Ever Happened,” it lacks the punch of the classic. Dual vocalists Tomo Katsurada and Go Kurosawa rarely let their voices peak, even as the music demands it.

Moyo contain all the necessary ingredients for a psych-fest, like GOAT, or even Morgan Delt, but they harbor some restraint that likens more to Wooden Shjips – such is the case on “Majupose” and “Nana” both containing driving guitar lines but never go anywhere for more than ten seconds. The band has talent, but this genre demands a more commanding response. Towards the end of Masana Temples they drop a brief instrumental again, on an already short album that seems devoid of any real characteristics.

The strongest and most diverse track is “Gatherings,” another extended trip that features tight guitar work and climaxes over four minutes in, but again plateaus there and they don’t rebound at all. “Blanket Songs” takes it back down to the feathery tones they exhibited for most of the record. Moyo has a wealth of talent, but Temples plods along rarely changing things up – but when they do it’s thrilling for a moment.

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