At this point Moon Duo – the yes duo, from San Francisco – is well enough known in indie music and definitely one of the more successful as well as solid psychedelic outfits. Previous records were just that, solid.
Occult Architecture Vol. 1 opens well enough with ”Death Set” and some intricate guitar, but the place where Moon Duo really shines is more in the development of expert rock- psychedelia and some of this is lacking at times here. Things do pick up the further one gets through the songs, and they bring the garage-like, fuzzy solos on tracks like “White Rose” and following “Creepin”, but some of this seems somewhat fittingly like a concept rock song.
This is particularly seen on “Creepin” and Death Set”, but even some on “Cross-Town Fade”, which is even more fittingly for them, surreal sounding. “Will of the Devil” is probably the most unique, and rocking’, while “White Rose” is the trippiest and has a lengthy and totally worthwhile guitar-solo throughout.
Then with the just released Occult Architecture Vol. 2, they kind of get lost into a sprawling, but short jam-fest. Beginning with the very first song, “New Dawn”, this follow up record kind of plays on a penchant for noise, and while very similar to Vol. 1, 2 may be the slightly weaker release. “Mirror’s Edge” is slightly more substantial, and all of the songs are still good, but Occult 1 and previous records are just really impressive, and sometimes one wants more. “Sevens” picks up some plain material and drives it through a slog of mud, and joyfully so. “Lost in Light” can really only be seen as a classic rock “chill-trip”, while the final “The Crystal World” is a eerie attempt at tropical psychedelic vibes.
There is both no question that Occult Architecture 1 & 2 are very different from the older works, and also very spiritually the same. There are a lot of psych-out tracks and noise, but they just a bit more mellow, for both better and worse than before. Moon Duo is still a leading psychedelic act.