What happens when you take two musical elements that I don't really care for and slap them together? Well you get Mystical Weapons. The two elements in this case are instrumental music and Deerhoof. It's a wonder then how the self-titled debut (out January 15th) holds up as well as it does.
The band consists of Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and some kid named Sean Lennon. Together they make a decent record that would make a fine conversation piece as the soundtrack to your next party.
The album gets underway with "Impossible Shapes", with a sound like forming storm clouds which foreshadow what's brewing on the disc. The vibrant tapestry of "Colony Collapse Disorder" is underscored by a touch of Shoegazing. There's a rusty gears and spinning cogs feeling to "Mechanical Mammoth", which leads an air of a Charlie Chaplin film score.
On the two ends of the spectrum you have the back-to-back of "Dirty" and "Goddess Curlers". The former is a surprisingly sleepy piano number, while the latter is a frenetically scaling clattering rocker.
On a project that is by it's very nature self-indulgent, the messy directionless "Gross Domestic Happiness" takes things a little too far. The 6-plus minute "Whispers the Blue Tongue" suffers from a similar ailment, as free form keyboard jams draw out a meandering track built around simulated whale calls.
While far from my first choice for listening pleasure, Mystical Weapons proves to be a surprisingly strong and engaging effort. Plus, with "Gilbert Releases His Pet Salamander Into The Wild", it boasts the year's best song title to date.
Best tracks: "Mechanical Mammoth", "Colony Collapse Disorder"
Track listing for Mystical Weapons:
- Impossible Shapes
- Mechanical Mammoth
- Silk Screen
- Whispers the Blue Tongue
- Goddess Curlers
- Hostile Takeover
- Gilbert Releases His Pet Salamander Into the Wild
- Colony Collapse Disorder
- Distant City
- Dirty Neon
- Gross Domestic Happiness
- Consortium Musicum