Tokyo’s Sundays & Cybele (named for the ’62 French film) have been steadily building a reputation as psych powerhouses over their last two albums. They unlatch their third and maybe fourth eyes on Chaos & Systems, building to a peak that sees them seated high on the psychedelic mountain alongside fellow travelers Kikagaku Moyo. The album burns with the feral cry of guitar, howling and pleading with the listener to feed on the aural offerings, but they know that it can’t be all heat and no sizzle. Where tracks like “Butterfly’s Dream” tap the lava core and run it through the amps, they’re dipping through cool eddies of soft psych just one track later. Their true prowess comes in building to those chaotic breakdowns and balancing them with work that’s delicate to the point of trembling.
That balance seems to be where they divine the title, an encapsulation of push and pull on a cosmic level. The most striking thing is that the band crafts pristine monuments to psychedelia without the crusted hammer of fuzz devastation. The album revels in creation and destruction in kind, but the destruction is just as beautiful as the build. They curl in the warmth of the evening light, warm and serene and safe. Then, when the storms do blow in they’re not ragged and windy, but rather full of extravagant lightning that tears at the sky with as much beauty as those sunset hues. The last twelve months have been a banner for psychedelia, but the momentum hasn’t waned at all. We need a little chaos these days, in the face of the breakdown of tried and true systems. Sunday’s & Cybele have just the tonic to soothe.
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