Megapuss
"Surfing"

(Vapor Records 2008)Megapuss - Surfing

So similar is Megapuss to band member Devendra Banhart's solo music that the band's debut release, "Surfing," might tempt you to check the CD just to make sure that wasn't accidentally mislabeled. With his new project, the folksy indie artiste and some friends keep things mellow and fun if not always a little odd. But, then again, if your interests were piqued by the mention of Banhart or his many cohorts, including Priestbird's Greg Rogove and The Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti, then you're not too likely to be disappointed or caught off guard.

Heavily indebted to the past, Megapuss "surfs" its way through retro and classic sounds. "Fuck the government/in the asshole," they sing over Bo Diddley's classic beat on "A Gun On His Hip And A Rose On His Chest." Sure, it's not exactly original but it is damn effective (and the "hey, Bo Diddley" tacked on at the end saves their asses). "Crop Circle Jerk '94" and "Theme from Hollywood" are catchy and upbeat tunes with effortless flow. Elsewhere Megapuss shoot for both ends of the spectrum: they offer dreamy and delicate acoustics on "Another Mother" while "Duck People Duck Man" offers a silly dissertation over the light refrain of "nobody ever told you you could ever be like that."

Megapuss' "Surfing" comes in two parts that, occasionally, aren't so distinct at all. Mellow and dreamy is vaguely contrasted by the fun and silly. Although the drawn out mellowness and tongue-in-cheek silliness can get a bit much on repeated listens, Megapuss' "Surfing" plays like the background for a psychedelic California stoner Sunday picnic. Count me in.

B

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