Moon Duo, “Shadow of the Sun”
Shadow of the Sun
Far too often, words like “trippy,” “spacey,” and “acid” pepper descriptions of Moon Duo and guitarist/singer Ripley Johnson’s better-known band, Wooden Shjips. But throwing around such terms not only does a disservice to truly far-out outfits like Spacemen 3 and The Warlocks, it undervalues the uniquely efficient and economical nature of Johnson’s psychedelic craft (as heady as it might be). Nowhere is that more apparent, perhaps, than on Moon Duo’s sharply focused third album, Shadow of the Sun. Flaunting the record’s tautness, Moon Duo set forth a two-minute, three-chord punk pinprick (“Animal”) as the first single, and the equally simple “Slow Down Low” as the second. Johnson and trusty collaborator Sanae Yamada, along with relatively new pal John Jeffrey on drums, are said to have cooped up in a Portland basement to record this effort. At no point down there did they stay in their own heads for too long.