Rivers and Their Teeth
Das Space (Bonus Track)
When Mwahaha hooked up with the Plug Research label for a reissue of its 2011 self-titled debut, the Oakland, Calif., band dragged in more machines and dosed its lysergic, arty rock with even more electronic textures. Adding the track "Das Space," for instance, puts another 10 minutes toward the band's electronic, experimental side. And it's a beauty. Clicks, thumps, pulsating synths, and distorted guitars unspool a landscape of sound that's somewhat lulling and hypnotic—that is, until the last stretch, when things get a little nutty. Tracks true to the album's original focus, like "Swimmer" and "Rainbow Diamond," show a band more in The Flaming Lips' camp; these songs layer electronic textures behind guitars and chugging rhythms, with winsome, hulled-out vocals delivering an echoing sense of isolation. On the grooving "Poinsettia," the sultry beats and electronic textures firmly drive the distorted guitars and husky falsetto vocals. "Love" is a beautiful track, feeling like it's both underwater and in the clouds, and Merrill Garbus (a.k.a. Tune-Yards) is part of the lovely chorus. With creative hints of Bowie and TV on the Radio in its music, Mwahaha is clearly an outfit to watch.