Leprechaun Catering: Male Plumage
Think of Male Plumage as Leprechaun Catering's Meddle--the album latecomers will cite once the duo of Tom Boram and Jason Willett (the former drums, the latter guitars, and both play hydra-headed stacks of electronics) hits stadiums with laser-light shows and environmental multimedia immersions. The duo's third album and first for White Denim--the Allentown, Pa., beehive of inspired batshitness--abandons the speedy, 4 a.m. creeps of Mesmerized Ants for jittery futureworld rhythms that sound like an eight-armed deity onto which the limber limbs of Tony Allen, Elvin Jones, Clyde Stubblefield, and Greg Errico have been grafted. And, as usual, Boram and Willett are the Jimi Hendrixes of the song title, erupting right out of the gate with the skipping, three-legged-race pulse of "Adult Carrot"--which starts only in the left channel at first and goes stereo with a surround-sound explosion of blips and beeps and belches and squeaks that eventually get cosmologically swirled around like pinwheels of spin-art ink. Even better is the first side's third and last track, "For Now, Opaque Means `Opaque,'" an amoebic sprawl of 1950s sci-fi journey soundtrack that leapfrogs to blunted 1980s haunted pseudo-hip-hop and back as if finding a straight line between Esquivel and DJ Ready Red before wandering down a long and winding Luc Ferrari road.
On side two, the guys get very loose. "Somnambulant Refrigerator" starts off almost like a conventional song, complete with sinusoidal pulse and some screaming guitar/distorted bagpipe/choked pelican squawking something damn near a melodic motif. And for the next handful of minutes the pattern slowly swells like a rising tide until the song becomes a Krautrocking sea of ricocheted rhythms. And album closer "Hippy Id" carves the closest thing to an anthem as Boram and Willett have ever sculpted, a house-rocking steady pound underscoring a sunburst of distorted guitar chug that melts into abrasive if syncopated synth torture--even making those muffled, electronic drums feel Prince funky. And while, yes, Male Plumage is still light years away from anything resembling the everyday experimental avant-garde and cutting-edge dance musics, that Boram and Willett even bother to imagine how those two worlds cross makes for delightful, ecstatic nonsense. And just dig that cover art.