The self-titled album from French band Mucho Tapioca is one of those treats where you are never quite sure what is going on but enjoying every thrill of the investigation and the imaginative thoughts it inspires and makes suggestive gestures with. The eight track release is a schizophrenic maze of progressive and avant-garde rock with just as vibrant and eager jazz, psyche, and experimental tendencies. It is a delicious adventure which leaves you mystified, fulfilled, and with an appetite for much more of the band’s seductive mania. Imagine a mix of Mr Bungle, or other Mike Patton exploits, with 6:33, Pryapisme, and System Of A Down, then you get an idea what is going on upon the album; add extra spice from Dog Fashion Disco or Diablo Swing Orchestra to the blend and you get closer again but still only scratch the surface of what is uniquely Mucho Tapioca.
Hailing from Toulouse/Tarbes area of France, the band hits you right away with the packaging of their CD version of the album. With nostalgic imagery and recipe providing its art on the outside wrapping and each disc containing one of the two “comic-booklets” inside with artwork from Matthieu Andro, ours contained the desperado tale of La Venganza whilst the other possibility is Scrabble au Coin du Feu Chez Baba Yaga, the first positive impressions are soon confirmed and take to higher plateaus with opening track Parano Yack. The song is an instant swagger through the ear with guitar and bass teasing coaxing the ears into its sultry dance. Voice effected vocals equally flirt at the start whilst the song shuffles itself into position before unveiling its continually twisting and evolving drama and unpredictability. Stomping with and questioning the imagination from second to second, the track is a feast of magnetic invention and psychotic mischief, a devilment which goes within a breath from caressing and kissing the senses to tearing a strip of their flesh off and chewing it boldly before their eyes.
The following Cherche le Fusil! walks in with a jazz seeded strut to its confident stroll, the vocals testing the ear from within the brewed elegance with a devilry and intent to leave thoughts wrong footed. They are successful as is the sound in the same endeavour but simultaneously it all mesmerises and ignites a fire in the passions to leave a big grin on every surface of the listener from face through to heart. Undoubtedly Mucho Tapioca’s sound like those references we mentioned earlier is not for everyone but taking the previous comparisons as a marker if they appeal this album will have juices dripping.
Both Scrabble au Coin du Feu and Soirée Diapos continue the total persuasion already rampaging from within the album, the first with a throaty resonating bass croon to its sound and atmosphere which with a dark jazz character creates an intrigue of sinister provocation and dramatic shadow clad exploits. There is a bedlamic tone to its invention too which only sparks greater enjoyment and thoughts whilst its successor takes that insanity onto open territory with a kinetically fuelled bewilderment of rhythmic concussion and enchanting jazz crafted ambience speared by tempests of unbridled sonic madness. Reminding at times of eighties band Essential Logic through its brass temptation, it like the whole album feels like the crazed soundtrack to the cartoon Oggy and The Cockroaches, and provides another outstanding incitement for mind and soul.
The moody breath of Malhabile Lama makes an evocative wrap for the great clean passionate vocals opening up the song, rhythms and percussion on the brink of psychotic revelry whilst guitars and bass shape their individual claims on the ear and beyond with craft and magnetic enterprise. Increasing its intensity and pulse rate the further into its inner turmoil it ventures, the track is a slow burning joy with gets better with each encounter whilst the next up La Venganza is straight at the ear and emotions with its jazz funk twist and sultry sax sex matched by the guitar and its loose aural desires. The track is a thrilling hypnotic scat with the drums the puppeteer and ringleader to the tango of scurrying and sizzling synapse firing rodent like ingenuity, its charms and toxicity burrowing unseen into the lustful passions.
Chez Baba Yaga is another which at first approach is pleasing if not as openly persuasive as other tracks but all the time it is working away with its noir enticing and shadows mastery to seize the listener into its frantic meshuga. It burns a stronger attraction with each taking of its emotive bughouse and makes a stirring appetiser for the final declaration of the album, Méchant Chameau. The track is also a smouldering inducement which takes time but leaves no doubt of its potency and excitingly baited trap. Arguably the most complex track on the album, though no song comes with simplicity as its driver, it completes one oddball and compulsively irresistible crossing of thoughts and imagination, a meeting which is sheer joy and the trigger to a real hunger for more from Mucho Tapioca.
Oct 30 L’Ubu, Perpignan, France
Oct 31 La Pleine Lune, Montpellier, France
Nov 02 Le Pakebot, Chadron, France
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from