Rating : 8.5/10
By Kieran Webber
Kikagaku Moyo (translated as “geometric patterns”) started in the summer of 2012 busking on the streets of Tokyo. Though the band started as a free music collective, it quickly evolved into a tight group of multi-instrumentalists. Their continued musical journey has seen the band craft some beautiful music and their latest release ‘House In The Tall Grass’ is no exception of this. The album showcases the bands perfect balance between soft and loud, demonstrating a tranquil and whimsical sound with moments of welcomed chaos.
Opening with a cacophonous smash of symbols, guitar chords and a swinging bass-line ‘Green Sugar’ is a melting pot of psychedelia infusing soft vocals from Tomo Kastsurada and shimmering sitar, coming to a close with an ethereal guitar solo and voodoo like percussion.
Following this is a shift in sound and sees the band indulge their more folk orientated influences with ‘Kogarashi’ and harmonic ‘Old Snow, White Sun’ drawing clear infuence from Led Zeppelin III and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Kikagaku Moyo really shine on ‘Silver Owl’ a slow building psychedelic-folk track that builds into a stoner rock anthem, luring the listener into a sense of false security with its tranquil beginnings it soon becomes apparent that Pandora’s box is about to be opened and when it is, you best run for cover as it will turn your ears into melted bits of skin. It embodies everything that they are as a band, the perfect capturing of chaos and tranquility. This is also heard in ‘Triad’ a Hendrix a la Santana esque number that sees the band rioting across the Japanese plains with a rhythmic bass backed by an all encompassing solo.
Closing track ‘Cardigan Song’ is a beautiful finish to a mind melting album that is littered in twists and turns, diving in an out of genres and sounds. It is a soft, peaceful number that lets the listener that the trip is over.
‘House In The Tall Grass’ is a classic psychedelic album that does well in taking the sounds of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s hard to stand out in today’s music in general let alone to stand out in the psychedelic genre but Kikagaku Moyo have done just that, it is clear that this is their sound and their album.
You can pre-order the album here.