When we were recently approached by 9PR promotions company from London, and they kindly suggested to us a band we may enjoy, the name Mwahaha rang a bell instantly. At first I couldn’t figure out whether just the obscurity of the name made me think I’d heard of them, or whether I had actually come across them before. Perhaps it was just the level of use the word (if it is indeed a word) gets on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites like Faceparty and Bebo. But, after very little investigation I realised I had heard of them, they had been mentioned in my presence before and I have had them suggested to me before by other people. So considering they are a relatively new band, and as of the 26th of March 2013 their debut self titled album is at my disposal via iTunes, I better get stuck in and have a listen. So I did… 2013 hasn’t been the same since.
This year has seen the release of some great new music, and if you’re a regular visitor of www.mojo20.com, you’ll know that we like things as eclectic as possible. One day it’s indie legends The Strokes, the next it’s 90’s DJ icon Mr.Scruff, the following week we’re reviewing albums by finnish metal veterans HIM. So when ‘Mwahaha’ was given its first play, I was immediately drawn in by the erratic drum beats, and TV on the Radio-esque vocals of track one ‘Swimmer’. It’s clear from the off that this debut is one of time and effort, and has a mind of credibility yet experimentation behind it. The clarity behind this
realisation is one that makes the segue from track one to track two, an exciting journey. ‘Rainbow Diamond’ has instantly become a personal favourite, and a go to track whenever the album just flippantly gets thrown on, whilst pottering around the house. More of a falsetto style on the vocals is employed for the chorus of ‘Rainbow Diamond’ and the electronic drive of the track, raises the interest levels to a new height as the band is obviously a four man wall of talent and insight into modern music creation. The lyrics also stand out particularly in this one and again, the intelligence behind this effort can be
Without just making this a mundane run down of tracks on the album (of which there is 9, plus a bonus track) our attention does turn immediately to track three, as things become very electronica based here and again the band remind me of other artists that have previously followed an indie, yet electronic path, such as Bloc Party and Everything Everything. It’s not uncommon that any band or artist including brand new ones, will resemble or remind you of another band or artist, but Mwahaha have got shades of so many others and all of them should be taken as a compliment. Perhaps the most perplexing would be ‘Rivers and Their Teeth’ which on one hand has a guitar riff that makes you think Julian Casablancas has missed his cue, but then the song evolves into something straight out of fellow LA electronica star Daedelus’ bit box, as the frantic repetitive beat grabs your brain and squeezes it.
‘Love’ sounds like The Faint, TV on the Radio and David Bowie have decided to do their own spin-off of the Mighty Boosh, before coming back in with a perfectly psychedelic Beatles like chorus. They may sound like a lot of people, but that combination only sounds like one band…
Mwahaha are just beginning their first UK tour and will be rounding things up in Cornwall with acts like Daughter and Sigur Ros. If that isn’t the start of something beautiful, then I don’t know what is. If you have an open mind, then you’ll love this album, if you want to open your mind, you’ll need this album.
Mwahaha is available now.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)
We also concocted the band’s first UK interview. Read it here.