Know Your Product
Mopar Mountain Daredevils: Mopar Bloody Mopar
Published: May 11, 2011
Mopar Mountain Daredevils
Mopar Bloody Mopar
This hair-farming Baltimore quintet added a sticker to the plastic wrap of its 2009 debut EP to give it that extra special patina for Record Store Day 2011, and everything about this 12-inch slab is aimed directly at vinyl junkies. It’s limited to 500 copies. It’s issued on trippy red splattered vinyl. One side plays at 33 rpm, the other 45 rpm. Scratched into the space between the label and the last track on side A is free roman polanksi. And the overall effect of the packaging and sound is straight-up late 1960s/early ’70s mind-expansion power psych, the sort of low-slung jeans and unkempt mustaches and wiggy guitar excursions and drum-kit abuse that make Julian Cope tumescent.
Mopar Mountain Daredevils might only raise him half-mast. With barely intelligible, buried-in-the-mix vocals coming from synth maven Cotton Casino (Acid Mothers Temple) and guitarist Bill Turney, Mopar Bloody Mopar hits the ears with that sort of spatial, echoing throb that makes heavy psych such comforting brain food. Drummer Derrick Hans (Oak) and bassist Bob Sweeney (Pilgrim) provide the body-swaying low end backing Turney’s acid workouts and the textural washes emanating from Casino’s and Jack Moore’s synths. (Rob Girardi, who captured and mixed all this at Lord Baltimore Recording, also provides second guitar to MMD’s live assault.) The whole things feels like that narrow hallway your consciousness rushes through after inhaling a liter of nitrous and right before you black out.
So while, yeah, it’s a tad self-consciously retro, but don’t think of that as a knock so much as suggested listening calibrating factor: The EP prolly sounds wicked fun coming home from the bar at 2:20 a.m. when you really feel like annoying the neighbors. Head straight for “Yeti Stomp” on side A, where a percussion stomp as primally catchy as the Honeymoon Killers “Kansas City Milkman” kicks off a guitar and synths odyssey. And then just before the sun comes up, flip the EP over, switch the turntable to 45, and let the gentle opening notes of “Tiger’s Pause” rain over you. The band switches gears on this nine-minute-and-change epic, leaving the butt-rock grooves behind for something heavier, sludgier, and much better suited for staring at the world through eyelids you can barely keep open.
Mopar Mountain Daredevils play El Suprimo’s eighth anniversary party at the Golden West Café May 13. For more information visit goldenwestcafe.com.
> Email Bret McCabe