Moon Duo Mazes

Moon Duo Mazes
There's something comforting about a band whose visual style perfectly matches their music. Take Ripley Johnson, singer-guitarist for San Francisco, CA pair Moon Duo (and guitarist for Wooden Shjips). His dead-straight hair and wispy beard make him look like a wizard. Luckily, he and drummer Sanae Yamada conjure up some spellbinding psych-rock on latest outing Mazes. Decamping to Berlin for much of the recording process, this is one of the cleanest sounding psych records in years, marrying the dizzying guitar swirls of Tame Impala and Brian Johnstown Massacre with the stark production and pop hooks of the Velvet Underground. Never overstaying their welcome, each track builds off catchy hooks and pulsing beats before floating off into a euphoric haze. Meanwhile, Johnson's vocals and solos float overtop the music, giving the songs, particularly the title track, a sense of weightlessness. A rare amalgamation of looks, sound and songs, Mazes is guaranteed to blow the eardrums off of even the most casual psych fans. (Sacred Bones)