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What’s more disturbing than Devendra Banhart’s face?  Devendra Banhart’s naked body.  On the cover of Megapuss’s debut release, Banhart and bandmate Greg Rogove are knife-wielding and in the nude.  This new side project of Banhart’s is a result of a game he and Rogove would play before live shows.  They would come up with a song title ten minutes before going on stage, and then force themselves to write a song based on that title.  Surfing is fourteen of the tracks they came up with.  It’s more gimmicky than it is good. 

Upon first listen Surfing sounds a lot like Banhart’s other material - messy, vintage folk-rock with quivering vibrato - but the album is essentially a joke.  The beginning of “Duck People Duck Man” is a spoken-word piece about Trader Joe’s hummus and duck people stereotypes, and “Theme from Hollywood” has a chorus of meows.  I suppose an album of songs written in ten minutes with titles like “Crop Circle Jerk ‘94” and “Chicken Titz” is not supposed to be taken seriously, but Surfing is more irritating than it is funny.  Maybe hardcore Devendra Banhart fans will get a kick out of it, but Megapuss isn’t really worth your time.


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