Mega Bog - Okay Human
Mega Bog are like Psychedelic Horseshit without the humor. "Okay Human" is self-consciously freaky, complete with deliberately amateurish playing on some tracks and a singer who tries too hard to be Nico on almost every track. The result is a mixed bag, though, because there are some great songs here; they are great because Mega Bog, for the most part, just cranks out a good tune rather than trying to be arch and difficult. Creative Writing classes have killed just as many bands as novelists.
"mtn the DEATH" and "dog letters" are muddy, abstract freak drones, a space within which the band seems comfortable, as if they feel they are showing off their true, experimental sound, playing to their strengths. Not. The band is much more interesting, even daring, on the more structured tracks, the ones that roll if not rock.
"vulcan mind meld" has a bit of a 60s shuffle, with a good groove and vocals that approach pop, or at least non-annoying. "one love leads to another," is the best song in the set, and mostly because the drums, Mo Tucker style, provide anchor and groove. Likewise, "throat mtn" is a good psych shuffle , though the vocals, here occasionally shouted for added effect/torture, wear out their welcome in whiplash fashion. These are not arty, avant-garde or ironic vocals-they are just far from helpful.
So are Mega Bog trying too hard to be difficult and outsider when they ought to be paying attention to where their strongest music comes from? Despite the annoyances and false starts, "Okay Human" is likeable, and Mega Bog show off a good instrumental sense for melody and hooks. I'm not suggesting they become a pop band, God forbid, but not being afraid to rock more often would be cool.
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