When it comes to honouring his parents’ musical legacies, Sean Ono Lennon doesn’t play favourites. While the handful of albums he released under his own name felt like logical extensions of his dad’s late-career predilection for silken soft rock, he’s been equally game to follow his mother’s anarchic muse, eagerly joining her in the art-metal outfit IMA and a reconstituted Plastic Ono Band.
It’s this latter impulse that informs Ono Lennon’s latest project, Mystical Weapons, a collaboration with drummer Greg Saunier of card-carrying Yokophiles Deerhoof. The duo’s self-titled debut sounds like it’s being written as it’s being performed, yielding a rapid-fire procession of instrumentals that variously evoke Miles Davis’s acid-rock phase, the Pompeii-scorched prog of Pink Floyd, and the incidental music for Looney Tunes.
But while Mystical Weapons err on the side of brevity—cramming 13 tracks into 36 brisk minutes—they’re most effective during their more protracted experiments, when Ono Lennon and Saunier give themselves sufficient time to lock into a fearsome groove and goad each other to new extremes of psych-jazz freakery.
Mystical Weapons ultimately has the feel of a hastily assembled one-off project, but its embryonic form also carries the promise that this is merely a warm-up for greater things to come.
Playlist picks “Gross Domestic Happiness,” “Whispers the Blue Tongue”