The cover of Minnesota-based Megatherium Club’s self-titled album Megatherium Club strikes me as an image I’ve often wanted to draw for myself; a person sits looking reflectively into a shaded, darkened abyss alive with texture. It’s a simple image that gives a deeper meaning, and is a brilliant reflection of the music it represents.
“Always Looking Ahead” has such a smooth and exotic vibe, with a very soulful R&B, jazz type style of music piggybacking a harsher rock sound. The two very different influences are balanced well; it’s obvious they play off each other and don’t feel pushed together for the sake of being different.
“Shiny Cars” feels kind of vintage, with a faster tempo that reminds me quite a bit of the acid jazz style but delivered in a much cleaner way. The subtle changes in instrumentation and speed punctuate the song nicely, and the saxophone featured later was both unexpected but completely understood and agreed with. It made the song’s blood pump in an almost magical way.
The slow, gentle opening of instrumental “Rusty Screws” gave me goose bumps. I enjoyed quite a bit about this song, but what stood out most initially was how the song still rocked like most rock songs, but was played with jazz instruments to deliver a completely different twist on the sound. It kind of reminds me of eating a cookie pizza – it’s still shaped and reminiscent of pizza, but with a completely different taste and feel.
Ben Marolf hits some high notes in “Songbird” that would have women screaming and throwing their underwear on stage. I like how in this song the music disappears and slowly crescendos back into play, as though it’s trying to make sure you’re still paying attention.
“Death of Folk” was the perfect instrumental piece to end the album, and felt like a great culmination of everything I heard preceding it. It’s an end-of-show jam session, with a rather catchy melody underlining the unbridled instruments that take turns shining throughout.
There really isn’t one word, or even a collection of words, that describe exactly how this album made me feel, but maybe that’s the important point – it made me feel. It’s got such a classic feeling throughout the whole thing, and I love how the band artfully took elements from jazz and rock and even some other sound effects to make their own sound, one I couldn’t stop listening to from beginning to end. I’m adding this to my personal rotation – definitely check it out for yourself.
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