Guitar amps ooze distortion and heterogeneity. Drumsticks tap the Morse code for change on the cymbals. Basslines that resemble rolling green fields find themselves sandwiched between metal fortified bastions of speed rock. And somewhere in there you could swear you heard a crooning sax that had you swaying unconsciously.
Bienvenidos a la casa de Muchos Backflips!
To begin at the beginning:
Muchos Backflips! has been making music, in one incarnation or another, since they formed in 1999 in Lubbock, Texas. While in West Texas they developed and honed their sound, winning some local awards and hearts along the way. Flash forward to 2003. In an attempt to broaden their audience, core members Winston Barrett (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Eric Brown (percussion, vocals) and Kris Lindahl (guitar, sax, vocals) made the move to Austin, Texas, where they eventually met up with Eric McFarlin (bass). The band has been thriving since, growing an enthusiastic and devoted following, and releasing the full length album "The Reckit" in February 2007.
But enough biographical flim-flam. With these guys, it's all about the music. How the hell to describe it though? A telling detail is the origin of the band's name. They got it from a bilingual child who was describing the feats of his toy motorcycle. Perfect. Muchos Backflips'! music comes at you like toys built by some demented but ultra-skilled toy maker, switching fluently, often dramatically, between genres several times in the span of a single song. They create sonic wonders much like childhood fables: fantastic, thrilling, and a bit scary all at the same time. Metal, hip-hop, jazz: they're all molten alloys used for the creation of toy-bots programmed to rock you into submission so they can massage you into euphoria. "The Reckit" captures precisely this compositional mentality. Take "Soup Jug Shift", the fourth track: a rockabilly-esque song that leads into a celestial synth-vibraphone and guitar riff. Imagine a modern day rancher, herding cattle by day within earshot of a noisy highway and then unrolling his sleep sack at night to gaze up at the stars to the soundtrack programmed into his ipod. Or "Funky Lady", in which driving rock falls effortlessly into a latin-jazz interlude before exploding back into the distorted guitars and vocals from whence it came. And then there's "Crispness in the Metal Beast", the album's final track: an ostracized Transformer that changes from a revving harley into a languid jellyfish, whose sting is actually soothing to the skin, and back again.
Live or via compact disc, these guys make music for the you that still bolts clamorously out the screen door after the ice cream truck; the you that waits behind the garage with a snowball for your sister; the you that spies centaurs in clouds, wildebeests in dark closets. The you that dances with your eyes closed, uncaring of the adults that surround.
So again, bienvenidos a la casa de Muchos Backflips! Sit if you must. You won't be able to keep still for long.