Mouse on Mars: WOW (Monkeytown)
Mouse on Mars has released not just one outstanding album this year (Parastrophics, also on Monkeytown), but they’ve followed it up swiftly with this second shorter album that I consider its more raucous dance party companion. Parastrophics was delightfully unpredictable and without genre, while WOW is more focused on electronic grooves, touching on a bit of dubstep wobble, some electro flair, bass music sprawl, and big, grand gestures that recall some of the more brash sounds of a contemporary artist like Rustie. Most of WOW’s 3-letter tracks flow directly together. Personal favorites are the absolutely massive anthemic fanfare of “Hym,” the acid squiggles of “Acd,” the goofball krautrock-through-the-blender sound of “Can,” and the half-beat radiance of “Sun.” If I had to pick between the two, Parastrophics is my preference (and probably my favorite of theirs in a decade), but on its own merits, this album is totally fun and infectious.