January 27, 2017

Moe Meguro: Moe Meguro + San Mai Niku

Indie shoegaze band Moe Meguro are special, mixing The Beatles (well, mostly John Lennon) with Hüsker Dü, creating melodic rough-around-the-edges melodic noise rock. Considering the fact that the members and guest musicians have taken up residence all over the world (Sacramento, Berkeley, Austin and Japan), it's quite a feat that have managed to create such a cohesive and original sound on their latest, self-titled album.

From the bold opener Today's Happiness into psychedelic Maybe U Are they never let up, handing out tidbits and references to appease the deep knowledge of the serious music geek. Sure, there are dead giveaways - they tagged a bit of Strawberry Fields unto the John Lennon cover #9 Dream and Across The Universe pops up during Yura Yura, but there are plenty of blink-and-you'll-miss-'em moments. Primus, Zappa, Big Star, Pixies, the list goes on and on.

Joseph Brandel: guitars & bass. vocals on 1, 5, 8, 9
Bernie Gelman: guitars & keyboards. vocals on 2, 3, 4, 6, 8
Logan Bean: drums & percussion. vocals on 7
Lead vocals on "Maybe U Are" by Maya Laner of Porches
Violins on "CC" arranged by Bernie, performed by Graham Patzner
Upright bass on "CC" by Gary Calhoun James
Additional keys on "Jojo Too" by John Constant

Moe Meguro is a self-released album. Buy it from their website. The first run of vinyl has sold out.

  1. Today's Happiness
  2. Maybe U Are
  3. CC
  4. #9 Dream
  5. Jojo Too
  6. Super Eeyore
  7. Wisdombody
  8. Yura Yura
  9. Motorbike ? Famima

This is a band who have found a way to incorporate a shitload of great music into their own material and make it sound captivating and fresh. And the good news that there's another full-length to enjoy, San Mai Niku.

Released in 2012 San Mai Niku is even more hectic and eclectic, and more lo-fi. Opener Twang is seriously defiant off-key - imagine DEVO meeting the Beastie Boys. Leakage isn't a problem and uncontrolled feedback was OK in their book back then. Kids banging the shit out our their instruments are mostly hit-or-miss, but the outlines for their obsession for melody is already seeping through in tracks like XX and the gloomy instrumental Country.

They were searching for their own sound back then, and decided that they would go with any wild idea that popped into their head. Free Jazz vs. hardcore in Basic Human Interaction? Why not (the digital version includes an even weirder early demo). Stuttering start-and-stop guitar and vocals abound in School (maybe the first song since Enter Sandmand where a child like voice doesn't come off as a bad idea, but a a true enhancement of the song's message.

Jojo Brandel: guitars, vocals
Bernie Gelman: guitars, vocals
Buddy Hale: drums, percussion, vocals

San Mai Niku is a self-released album. Buy it (digital, vinyl) from their website.

  1. Twang
  2. Goya Health and Wellness
  3. San Mai Niku
  4. Basic Human Interaction
  5. Drunk Driving
  6. Sesame Cream Dream
  7. Country
  8. XX
  9. School
  10. Okiyo!

» Moe Meguro on Facebook

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