Say Psych: Track Review: Moon Duo – Jukebox Babe / No Fun

Rating: 8/10

Ahead of UK live dates starting later this month, Portland based Moon Duo are back with a limited edition 12″ which contents covers of two classics, ‘Jukebox Babe’ by Alan Vega and ‘No Fun’ by The Stooges. The double A side single is set for release on 19th January 2018 on Sacred Bones Records. The covers were conceived during the band’s last UK tour, which saw them play their biggest London show to date at a sold-out Heaven.

When asked, the band explain that they “started playing ‘No Fun’ after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday. We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of ‘Jukebox Babe’ because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time. The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide/Alan Vega/Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point. So, we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”

Their take on ‘Jukebox Babe’ is more electronic based than its origins with a dance vibe permeating, whereas Vega draws heavily from rockabilly. ‘No Fun’ is a hazy, drone laced, reverb drenched offering with layers of swirling noise hypnotizing the listener. Both tracks are still recognisable to the trained ear, yet Moon Duo have taken the songs and made them their own. As covers go, these are as good as it gets.


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