Japanese hippies Kikagaku Moyo are back with a new album Masana Temples released last week. It's more of the same of what anyone who's listened to and appreciated their previous records might expect. Psych, Folk, Kraut and Jap Rock, changing and shifting moods, in turns rocking and contemplative and pastoral.
But there's a gradual refining of their sound going on, and Masana Temples contains a number of career defining moments. The album has received a series of rather lukewarm reviews, at least the ones I've read, but I reckon it's a fine record, containing several tracks that I've returned to again and again over the past week.
Yes sure they're hippies, band photos and press releases attest to this quite blatantly, but frankly labels like this mean next to nothing in 2018. I even saw one reference to John Lydon's 'Never trust a hippie', quote in a negative review of the record. But Lydon himself was an avowed Can aficionado, and this is the band that Kikagaku Moyo take their most obvious cues from. And the influence reaps rewards.
There's also a distinctly utopian feeling to proceedings - as one might expect from hippies I suppose. That's more than welcome in this day and age. Masana Temples keeps up the good work laid down by the bands previous release and more. Never mind the knockers.