Fungi Girls: Some easy magic (2011)
Fungi Girls son un trío tejano (Jacob Bruce – guitarra/voces, Sky Salinas – batería/ruidos varios, Deryck Barrera – Bajo) de esos que van por libre, importándoles un bledo cualquier tipo de etiqueta o de consideración comercial de su música. Lo suyo es el Pop-Garajero, con evidentes connotaciones Lo-Fi en cuanto que sus grabaciones son bastante básicas, y su instrumentación otro tanto de lo mismo. Si su música ya es bastante epatante de por sí, mi sorpresa fue algo mayor cuando desubrí que este trío apenas tiene la edad legal para comprar alcohol en los Estados Unidos. Digo ésto porque su música no tiene precismente connotaciones digamos que muy modernas, ya que bajo la premisa del Pop Garajero predominante en todo el disco (Doldrums, Honey face, Hevrole, All night blues, Marv Alien; Fungi Girls son capaces de atacar igualmente suertes diversas como el Surf-Pop (Lucie, Some easy magic) e incluso incursiones digamos que Velvetianas (Breeze II). Aunque la mejor de todo el disco con mucha diferencia es ese maravilloso himno garajero llamado Velvet Days, que tiene algo así como un aura de magia Garajera-Psicodélica que cuesta quitarte de la cabeza.
Está claro que estos chicos se han empapado de los vinilos de ? and The Misterians, 13th. Floor Elevators o Canned Heat, pero tampoco han perdido de vista los modernos Cd´s de sus hermanos mayores con la música de Thee Oh Sees (referente inevitable), Psychedelic Horseshit, Wavves o The White Stripes.
Un disco que es un auténtico torbellino de sensaciones muy positivas, con un sonido altamente particular, una grabación en la que el reverb y el eco son los protagonistas junto con unas voces cavernosas que dotan al disco de una sonoridad más que atractiva. Muy recomendables.
“When delving into the backstory of Fungi Girls, the word “precocious” comes to mind. This is not to say they’re sheet-reading music theory nerds worshipping Philip Glass, but you do get the feeling that the members of this particular trio– none of them old enough to legally buy cigarettes in America– are well beyond their years. Of course, they’re teenagers in the 21st century: They’ve had far greater access to underground music than older fans. Regardless, it’s not a stretch to say a group that got together in their preteens and who credit 13th Floor Elevators and ? and the Mysterians as influences should rightfully be considered as having advanced tastes.
Since forming, the Texans have shared stages with Hunx and his Punx and Wavves. They’ve recorded “Dream of Oz“, the best Jesus and Mary Chain song since Liars’ “Freak Out“. They’ve garnered praise from the likes of Psychedelic Horseshit‘s Matt Whitehurst– a man far more generous with insults than he is with compliments. It’s easy to see why: Their debut LP, Seafaring Pyramids, was an infectious blast of noisy effects-pedal-rock, shoegaze for people who wear the same pair of holey, filthy Vans every day. Interestingly, the straightforward garage of sophomore collection Some Easy Magic serves as a complete stylistic overhaul.
Instrumental opener “Sabana Breeze” and vintage toe-tapper “Honey Face” are good enough songs, but the album doesn’t really kick into gear until about 12 seconds into the title track, where the descending chords and boundless energy is reminiscent of the threadbare, hanging-off-the-hinges rock of garage punk legends Thee Oh Sees. Only, where most bands (Thee Oh Sees included) would use a song like this to fulfill every garage-rock frontman’s desire to howl at the moon and spit beer all over the microphone, vocalist Jacob Bruce sings an addictive melody in his best inside voice, turning what would normally be a chaotically fun moment into a tightly wound ball of nervous tension.
As a singer, Bruce never really goes for the jugular on the record: Each song is marked by his calmly and effortlessly spouting off brilliantly simple melody after brilliantly simple melody, employing vocal restraint where you’d least expect it. Like most well-adjusted small-town teenagers, his lyrics are often about boredom (“nothing to do” is a combination of words used more than once on the album), and he aptly delivers them with a disaffected croon, bored to the point of numbness. This would normally be a red-flag, but Bruce has such a natural flair for melody that the songs quickly burrow into your head. When he steps away from the mic for the album’s instrumentals, there’s a vibe-heavy presence– like entering a dive bar where folks go because it has cheap pitchers and a functioning jukebox.
Garage-rock is the province of the young and the young-at-heart. How else can you explain the slovenly strummed chords that feel like a sloppy, drunken kiss? Or the barreling drums not as concerned with fancy fills as they are the simple task of sorta keeping tempo? Or the romance of sweat, spilled beer, spitting in the air, and catching it with your mouth? Garage has always been a genre that’s gotten by on fuck-all primitivism and giddy demolition. (There’s a reason Shayde Sartin of the Fresh & Onlys cites Personal and the Pizzas as the platonic ideal of garage-rock bands.)
The peculiar thing about Some Easy Magic is how efficiently it’s delivered, how its players work through their songs like a trio of cool session players rather than pack of bloodthirsty punk kids– especially when considering that most of the wilder bands they’ve played shows with are easily double their age. But their natural introvertedness doesn’t hinder their ability to play simple but exhaustively catchy tunes, nor does it take away from the fact that Some Easy Magic is one of the most enjoyable garage albums of the year, a pure-pop record for the Terminal Boredom set. With as much promise as this record exhibits, it’s scary to ponder how good they’ll be once they’re old enough to drink in the bars they’ve played in” (pitchfork.com)