Why Bubbly Mommy Gun split an LP into two parts is a mystery, but in the case of Los Estados Amigos and its predecessor/complement, 2012’s Sand Roses, the titles alone make the choice worthwhile. The more prominent electronic drums on Amigos suggest cross-pollination with label mates The Dream Scene and Mans Trash, but with brilliant moments like Charlie Key’s soulful take on “Stereo”-era Stephen Malkmus, (on the beautifully-titled “Sad-Eyed Leopard of the Glow Sands”), it’s clear that the band has walked a few steps further down its own weird road.
The third track, “French Songs,” opens with a Super Nintendo keyboard wipe giving way to a euphoric 5/4 keyboard theme, four measures solo, another four with harmonies. You’re not just playing the video game; you’ve won. This is the happy music that plays as the names of 100 Japanese programmers flash by.
A line like “You can’t break up with a dog/ You can only put him down” belongs in a country song, it’s so funny and sad. Here it’s nestled in an unpredictable harmonic progression. The progression seems never to resolve, but it doesn’t matter, each chord is just so pretty. It’s what those Elephant 6 bands use to do so well, and it’s only one wonderful part of what Bubbly Mommy Gun does. 4 out of 5.
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