Brain Invaderz

Texas Platters

Mamahawk sets aim for cosmic pop with hints of Tame Impala or Unknown Mortal Orchestra's future soul on Brain Invaderz. The six-track sophomore release rises from the earth-tone folk of the Austinites' self-titled debut, but only hits its target in bursts. Nothing stands out more than the title track opener, where woozy synths aerate guitars and swinging drum slops. Sticky legato harmonies from James Reed and Adam Littman enhance the psychedelia. Elsewhere, though, untimely bridges and dry melodies convolute the free-wielding funk. "Headspinnin'" and "Lioness" offer irresistible grooves that fall apart when the trio tries to do too much. Vocals feel ho-hum unless they follow Impala's use of heavy delay and reverb, while lyrics wallow in hopeless romanticism. Without much flavor, everything quickly becomes bland. On "Moonride," Mamahawk hints they can seamlessly navigate between technical chops and neck-rolling jams, a skill that will set them apart once it can be harnessed to craft their own sound.


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  

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Jeremy Steinberger
SXSW Music Review: Kokoko!
SXSW Music Review: Kokoko!
Congolese instrument recyclers amplify euphoria out of chaos

March 13, 2019

Arturo Sandoval Sounds His Horn
Arturo Sandoval Sounds His Horn
Cuban trumpet great on Eastwood, Gillespie, and God

Jan. 24, 2019



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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