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(Mwahaha Music; US: 6 Dec 2011)

In a brilliant attempt to capture your attention with incredible repetition of an absurdly beautiful yet ridiculous name, Mwahaha has released its debut album, Mwahaha on its own label, Mwahaha Music. It’s like that Seinfeld episode where George makes up a catchy jingle to enlist a second date. But unlike Mr. Costanza, Mwahaha may actually deserve that spot eating away at your brain with an incessant melody.

At first it comes off as just another synth-pop band put together to follow in the footsteps of all the other synth-pop bands that have somehow leeched their way into society and our brainwaves over the past half-decade or so – and indeed at times, inherently, it is – that’s an unavoidable fact that psychedelic-music-creating hipsters have to face up to if they’re going to keep putting this stuff out. The important thing is that, at some point, the base of a sound is taken and morphed into something that furthers the idea instead of just copying it. Thankfully, Mwahaha has done that.

With each passing song, and each successive listen, there is yet another layer of complexity, influence, and inspiration to uncover. The first single “Rainbow Diamond” and the disc-closing 11-minute “Bathynomus Gigantes!” will prove this to you as they fall in and out of coherence, and “Rivers and Their Teeth” will keep your head above water though it will bring up visions of drowning. And, for those of you who can’t get enough of tUnE-yArDs, check out “Love” for a melodic appearance of Merrill Garbus.


Jonathan Kosakow has been a regular contributor for PopMatters since 2009, and became Associate Events Editor two years later. He contributes to Glide Magazine's Hidden Track blog (, both on his own and as a member of the editorial collective Three Grown Men. His writing has also appeared on and, but most of it can be found on the floor of his apartment or stashed away in files on his computer. Jonathan recently earned his Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Denver, and does his best to be an active member of the music and writing community in the Denver/Boulder area. He is the Director of Operations at the Boulder-based company Eco Vessel, and is the co-founder of the music-related website, and the beer-related blog, both currently in production.

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