Mwahaha, 'Mwahaha' (Mwahaha music)

Critical Mass
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Label: Mwahaha music

by Jon Young

A cleverly plotted head trip disguised as a ramshackle mess, the debut full-length from this psychedelic Oakland quartet turns brain-scrambling confusion into a fine art. Oozing, belching synths swarm beats that encompass throbbing funk and clattering chaos, as singer Ross Peacock, at once anxious and listless, taps into Nine Inch Nails' simmering rage on "Poinsettia" and harmonizes with tUnE-yArDs' irrepressible Merrill Garbus on the delirious "Love." The trance-friendly, 11-minute "Bathynomus Gigantes!" initially feels like filler, but turns into an inspired exercise in dynamics that could induce bright ecstasy or full panic, or both.

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