Megafauna

Surreal Estate

Texas Platters

Megafauna

Surreal Estate

Guitarist Dani Neff and bygone rhythm section Will Krause and Cameron Page, who quit the band between the recording and release of Surreal Estate, crafted an artsy LP that gracefully shifts tempo and power with prog-rock dexterity and tonal focus. Instrumental complexity is inherent to Megafauna's grungy eclecticism, but every note is in service to the vocally driven songs. The title track and "Love Project" find Neff playing nightclub singer over a minimal score that, over three minutes, graduates into soaring heaviosity. Lyrically, Neff is uncaged, reflecting on relationships and singing about personal freedom. The big downside to Surreal Estate is vocal indulgence. Recorded in a separate session from the music, Neff's often multitracked vocals monopolize the mix and overshadow the songs' endearing assets. While she brings us close to enlightenment with "Touch the Lion" and howls with real soul on the refrain to "MSG," most of her vocal takes are too cluttered with echo and shadow tracks to really connect.

**.5

READ MORE
More Megafauna
Texas Platters
Megafauna
Welcome Home (Record Review)

Michael Toland, May 27, 2016

About a Girl
About a Girl
Dani Neff shreds Megafauna to Maximalist effect

Nina Hernandez, Sept. 5, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
My Jerusalem
A Little Death (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
The Echocentrics
Echo Hotel (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, June 24, 2016

More by Kevin Curtin
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

Playback: Gourds Co-Leader Jimmy Smith Heads to Montana
Playback: Gourds Co-Leader Jimmy Smith Heads to Montana
On Austin: "It doesn't suck at all"

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Megafauna

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)