Guruguru Brain has let loose with two essential doses of Japanese psychedelia on the same day. While the attention will more than likely splash heavy on Kikagaku Moyo (and deservedly so) to discount the leap forward taken by Sundays & Cybele would be criminal. The band has always suffered from a case of unfortunate branding, with their name conjuring up wafts of precious indie pop. Its often hard to reconcile their dreamily psychedelic catalog with a French film about a young girl befriending a war veteran. That’s seriously some Belle & Sebastian level tweeness and it has no place crowding the mind while the Tokyo band are infecting your speakers.
The band is, instead, rummaging through an intricate trunk of psychedelic trinkets and using their talismans well to unlock the higher vibrating wavelengths of the universe. On their last album they went for amplifier shred, though always with a pristine touch that pulled them back from the edge. The band doesn’t tread into the domain of fuzz and fury and it distinguishes their brand of crystal catacomb psychedelia from many of their contemporaries. They’ve pushed even further this time into grand dynamics they touch gingerly on before. They dip fully into the wells of prog, augmenting their setup with a larger reliance on organ tones and simmering atmospheres.
Their languid and lush constructions find them in a unique space, bending the expansive aches of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia through a past refraction of classic Japanese bands like Jacks and Apryl Fool. Moreso than many of their contemporaries they’re not just prying open the cosmic eye, they’re massaging the soul as well. On The Grass is probably the most fully realized vision of the band, aching through nine pleas to the gods of love as well as cracking the cosmic egg. While we’d all like to see the temples crumble with Acid Mothers and Kikagaku Moyo, it’s refreshing to watch a band build such a lush ode to lysergic beauty.
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