Simply, moyamoya are a band. They began in a dank warehouse in 2009 as a collaborative project between veteran musicians. Over the next 5 years they meticulously crafted a handful of songs that have become their debut self-titled record. And, while 5 years may seem a long time to only release 6 songs, within moments of listening, you’ll know the wait was well worth it. The freshman offering grabs your attention from it’s first wavering guitar riff and holds you hostage until the final ambient resolve. Not only does this album deserve your attention, it demands it.
As a band, moyamoya are complex. To start, the trio brings together over 50 years of experience playing with bands of every imaginable genre. But much of that experience went for naught as one of the band’s first decisions was to switch instruments. Richard Dudley, for years a bassist, plays guitar. Scott Madgett, a guitarist, switched to drums and Brennan Hamill, also a guitarist, picked up keys and bass to round out the sound. This lead to an explorative approach to song crafting, each member feeling their way through the music rather than sticking to the well-worn paths their instruments would normally be limited to.
To add further complexity, the band abandoned all the usual tenants of their craft. At times intentionally, and at others, purely intuitively. First, they dropped the singer. moyamoya is instrumental. Not necessarily by decision but, rather by default. And while the absence of a front-man may be note-worthy at first, it only takes a few measures before you realize that any singer would be irrelevant.
The band, while playing, only settles in any groove long enough to get your head bobbing before jerking you, without warning, to a new time signature or tempo change. By constantly bending and blending genres, they create a truly unique form of audio alchemy. Fluctuating between tightly executed math rock, walls of ear-splitting distorted sludge and extended textural ambience, moyamoya will keep you guessing throughout this intricate and interesting album.
This album is an unexpected offering from an unexpected band. It’s the kind of album that you can focus on to hear all it’s many intricacies and then pull out from to hear the power and depth of each track. And with each listening, hear the album for the first time. It’s well worth the wait and a listen.
Previous Press Accolades for moyamoya:
“they are among the best musicians in town when it comes to live performances” ~ EU Jacksonville
“moyamoya continue to be one of the area’s most dynamic performers” ~ Synconation