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

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Megafauna
Texas Platters
Megafauna
Ghost Coast (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, June 28, 2019

Free Week Live Shots
Megafauna, ST 37, Honeyrude
Cheer Up Charlies, Jan. 8

Michael Toland, Jan. 13, 2017

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Kevin Curtin
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Ruthie Foster, Booker T. Jones, Kate Kortum, Hyd, and more local shows worth braving the chill

Nov. 18, 2022

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Lingua Ignota, Daniel Fears, Mobley, a Doug Sahm celebration, and more worthy local shows

Nov. 4, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Megafauna

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle