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- Frozen Altars by Moonrises
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It’s silly pseudonym day for me here in review corner. Having tackled Jay Reatard’s CC Riders and Dawn Aquarius’s Herbcraft, it’s now time for me to delve into Chicago neopsych trio Moonrises, led by a man who calls himself Plastic Crimewave. I mean, what kind of person gives themselves a preposterous made up name instead of going with the one their parents gave them, I ask you? It’s certainly not an idea this droid would entertain.
Anyway, this lot are a pretty interesting proposition, mixing some Doors-esque Hammond in their relatively thin and ‘70s-sounding aesthetic, sometimes veering into shrill Mars Volta theatrics and anarchic proggy weirdness. It’s quite messy, which will either appeal to people or throw them off a little bit, much closer the weird pastoral psychedelia of the 1960s than most modern psych rock records with their thick fuzzy bombast.
When they do rock out there’s something tentative, instinctive, raw and loose, the guitar alternating between confident and fluent repeato-psych and disjointed, jarring improvisation. In the finer moments they have the minimal drugged out darkness that bands like D. Rider or the Dead C achieve, a powerfully uncomfortable blend of jazz and psychedelia, but it’s a little inconsistent and sometimes meanders for too long in insubstantial murky gothy atmospherics. Still, at best it’s inspired and at worst it’s still weird enough to be interesting.
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