Release Date: Nov 4, 2008
Record label: Vapor
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
No record begs to be taken as a joke quite like one that features its two male protagonists fighting naked on the cover (one is raising a knife, the other is going all kung fu). And Megapuss, the not-quite-supergroup formed by Devendra Banhart and Priestbird drummer Gregory Rogove (with help from others including the Strokes' Fabrizio Moretti and Noah Georgeson), have all the flavor of a side project with no expectations -- and, usually, no structure or songwriting. But this is a supergroup record in the best sense, where all involved pool their talents to write and perform with no constraints and maximum creativity.
Devendra Banhart is always a little too aware of what he is doing. Too often he writes songs with his super-curated fashion-hippie persona in mind. The results are songs that are often more knowingly clever than affecting, more of a high-minded wink and nod to the few in on his schtick than a genuine attempt to reach out with his work. It’s too bad, because when he strips down the artifice some—as he does most consistently on Nino Rojo—his music can be both infectious and moving.
As if the nudie cover art, the picture of dildo glasses inside the cover and titles like “Chicken Titz” weren’t indication enough, Megapuss’ spotty debut, Surfing, isn’t an album to be taken seriously. It’s not like it’s Arcade Fire. In fact, the Megapuss’ two principle members, Priestbird’s Gregory Rogove and Devendra Banhart, started the group as a lark and had all of the titles long before there was music to accompany them.