Moon Duo's latest offering, Occult Architecture Vol. 1, conjures deep references. "Cold Fear" works as an homage to early 1980s cold wave tape music with its goth-pop aesthetic and frigid vocal interplay. "Cross-Town Fade" tips a cap to Devo. On the propulsive "Creepin," they seem to be channeling the ghosts of Stereolab's halcyon dirges. "White Rose," the album's epic closer, carries the distinct air of classic Hawkwind.
Guitarist/vocalist Erik "Ripley" Johnson (also of Wooden Shjips) surrounds the record in a velvety Krautrock vortex, while the pastoral keyboard play of Johnson's partner Sanae Yamada envelops the group's fuzz like a Möbius strip. Her sine waves provide a dreamy mattress for Ripley's distinctly Spacemen 3–inspired vocals and death rock guitar.
There's also the welcome presence of touring drummer John Jeffrey. The Stooges-like stomp that fuels soaring opening track "The Death Set" and the sinister 3/4 snap underpinning the guitar borealis of "Cult of Moloch" are testaments to his creativity with repetition.
With Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Moon Duo have constructed a perfect homage to the spirits of London, San Francisco, and Cologne's psychedelic revolutions.