ME REX: Megabear Album Review

Not given that the Flaming Lips unfold Zaireeka throughout four discs has an album necessary…

Not given that the Flaming Lips unfold Zaireeka throughout four discs has an album necessary guidance as terribly as ME REX’s Megabear. Instead than draft a further batch of the punchy, rapid music that produced the London quartet’s 2020 Triceratops and Stegosaurus EPs this sort of a kick, the group’s debut whole-size is an audacious experiment: 52 shorter track snippets, all of them in a related crucial and time signature so they can be shuffled in any order to make a person continual track with no commencing or close. It’s a real Choose Your Possess Experience knowledge Sufjan Stevens could never ever.

So how do you even listen to this point? The band has created a web page that will do the shuffling for you, guaranteeing a distinct song buy every time. The album is also readily available on streaming solutions with a preset tracklist that frontman Myles McCabe insists is arbitrary, and as a vinyl history marketed with an optional deck of 52 playing cards, each individual symbolizing a track, that can be drawn at random to establish a observe buy.

Like a board video game with also numerous parts, you have to shell out a tiny little bit of time to get the hang of it, but with handful of exceptions, these music segments really do mix seamlessly into every single other. Pieced collectively from rippling pianos and synthesized symphonics with occasional shock beats and choral accents, they’re rousing and assorted, teasing substantial strategies inside of rapid, 32-next packages. When it will work and the tunes feed into each and every other just proper, it’s exhilarating.

But, of study course, it does not generally function. Based on luck of the draw, the expertise can also be annoying and disjointed, and occasionally gratingly repetitive. McCabe’s most significant miscalculation was repeating many lyrical refrains—sometimes you can not get as a result of a lot more than a several tracks without having him singing “the party’s hardly ever over” or “I want a river to run by way of me.” In between that and the continual halt-and-start of hearing a new track every 50 {f7ace28afe27113323ebcbc15db4aacb666c5f5c079bf840994bad8a1353241c} moment or so, Megabear burns rapid. The a lot more you pay attention to it, the faster the magic wears off.

McCabe is a graduate of the Los Campesinos! college of verbose, trenchant turns of phrase that land like blows to the intestine. That prose shined on ME REX’s 2020 EPs, but here it can take a backseat to the idea. Megabear’s most effective thoughts beg to breathe, to be developed and expanded on, to graduate into finished songs. But most of these tracks are saplings that by no means get the likelihood to grow. It is not for practically nothing that the record’s best observe, “Lead,” with its vivid depiction of environmental and psychological infirmity, is also a person of the record’s longest at 66 seconds: It is the closest to remaining a standalone piece.

There is a further way to engage with Megabear: You can make your have music by sliding a several standout tracks into a playlist and shuffling them all-around till they make perception. Here’s what I arrived up with: “Lead,” followed by the album’s other terrific music about compromised character, “Ancient Ash,” chased with the aching “God of Rain” and closed out substantially by “Reclaimed From the Drinking water.” It’s a rare album that invites that amount of participation. Yet I however wish the work had been finished for me there’s an exceptional sequence for this music, and the album denies it to us. Megabear is a unique and modern notion piece that suggests lofty questions about intentionality and artists’ agency. But a typical 12-tune album with a beginning, center, and end probably would have been far more gratifying.


Obtain: Rough Trade

(Pitchfork earns a commission from purchases produced by affiliate back links on our website.)

Capture up each individual Saturday with 10 of our most effective-reviewed albums of the week. Signal up for the 10 to Hear publication listed here.