House In The Tall Grass

Kikagaku Moyo

Guruguru Brain, 2016

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Kikagaku Moyo seems to have somehow magically figured out time travel.

It might appear that whenever this Tokyo-based outfit wants to record an album, they go back in time to the ‘60s, go on a grand LSD trip, and make music. This is a psychedelic rock band with a sitar player in its lineup that makes trippy music. It only goes without saying that it is hard to picture these guys existing in any other era than the ‘60s (and their appearance in band photos further confirms this). nbtc__dv_250

Their latest release, House In The Tall Grass, affirms that these guys really don’t want to exist in any other era. This record seems grossly out-of-place with today’s music. However, this unashamed embrace of a certain bygone era and culture is also its strength, and this is why this release is so fiercely different and original.

“Feeling good music” is how this group describes their genre of music, and there is an overall atmosphere of Zen that hovers over House In The Tall Grass. Kikagaku Moyo’s tranquil headspace is most apparent on the longer cuts here – the eight-minute “Green Sugar,” eight-and-half minute “Trad,” 10-minute “Silver Owl,” and the five-and-half minute hypnotic instrumental “Melted Crystal.” Each of these songs has a quality of serenity and eternalness, as if the band is seeking some deeper and infinite experience playing these jams.

While most of the album is dominated by these guys elevating guitar noises to a state of Zen, they really bring home the theme of being in a state of extreme relaxedness on tracks like “Cardigan Song,” “Old Snow, White Sun,” and “Kogarashi.” These cuts are hauntingly meditative with their surrealistic music, consisting of nothing more than sparse guitars played with utter softness and equally soft – and coy – singing.

With its trippy ultra-psychedelic music, inspired (unsurprisingly) by the theme of nature, House In The Tall Grass not only brings ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll into the present era, but also the hippie culture that went along with it. Now, all this might seem a little hoity-toity, but the absolute Zen of these songs and the genuineness of the band are sure to quickly dismiss any feeling of bitterness and turn it into a vapor of harmony.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2016 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Guruguru Brain, and is used for informational purposes only.