Poor choice in band name aside, Oakland psych-rock quartet Mwahaha’s debut has a lot to offer. On album opener “Swimmer,” Ross Peacock sings “I swim deeper through darkness and danger / from the surface and its beautiful light” in an alluring falsetto over warm synth tones.
The colorful, swirling fractals of an acid trip appear, then the song dips into heavy reverb and clattering percussion as Mwahaha enters noise rock territory. And that’s only the first track. “Poinsettia” is a dark, lusty, drum machine-driven dance anthem. “Love” — featuring tUnE-YarDs’ Merrill Garbus — is all tribal rhythms, wailing guitar, and lush vocal harmonies. Garage rock shifts into the sound of actual rocks being tossed into a pond on “Rivers and Their Teeth,” and closing track “Bathynomus Gigantes” is an 11-minute exercise in weirdness.
Listen to “Love:”
Mwahaha live at the Uptown: