The quartet behind Mwahaha has been playing together in and around Oakland, Calif. for more than a decade. Brothers Nathan and Cyrus Tilton, along with Ross Peacock and James Murphy, command an army of synths and drums, both real and machine. The psychedelic result is something like acid-dropping monks bellowing Gregorian chants tinged with a starburst of colors.
The band's first release under the devious-sounding Mwahaha moniker is similarly chromatic. From the bleeping electronic intro of "Swimmer," which segues into a funky bass line and echo-y vocals, to the spacey dance number "Poinsettia," the release shows how the foursome has progressed from its previous work in the Bay Area band Ned.
While prepping for this year's SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, Peacock explained in a press release that the album was only released because the group felt it would do a live performance justice.
"There are times you see a band perform and you're blown away by the live show, but you bring the album home and that special something just isn't captured in the recordings," Peacock said. "We weren't going to perform live until we had a record that the live show would have to live up to."
On Sunday, Mar. 25 from 5:50-6:30 p.m., Mwahaha will step onto the Main Stage at Treefort Music Fest to put the issue to bed.