Silly me! When I sat down to review Fever In the South, (a new EP from Dallas based artist, “TexMex Shaman,”) I naively assumed it was going to be a standard country or “roots americana” type album. Spoiler alert: It isn’t. What it is precisely, I’m not quite sure… other than that it’s very powerful stuff, the kind of music you can astral project to.
The lead single on th EP is Roll over Matryoshka, a 6-minute kaleidoscopic musical odyssey, with elements of synthwave, rock’n’roll, psychedelia, noise, disco, and maybe even a hint of twang somewhere in there. Despite this eclectic amalgamation, the song doesn’t sound like some sort of jumbled collage, because the track delineates these elements in various “phases” along the way. This leads one to suspect there’s some type of epic abstract journey or underlying narrative at play here. The artist also reveals a few clues in the description of the video:
boy chases girl
boy loses girl
boy fights off hell demons with disco power
If one were to visualize this song, that does seem like a plausible characterization of events, but I would also say that it’s open enough to interpretation to be whatever you want it to be. Just use your imagination and get into the zone. My favorite part of Roll over Matryoshka is when the disco kicks in, partially because I love disco (and this disco segment is particularly good) but also because this is the point in the song where you realize there is actually something grander or cohesive at work here. It’s the point where I made up my mind that this track was a splendid little work of abstract art. I can’t help but think that this song must have taken a lot of work. There are lots of instrumental hooks, beats, guitar riffs and imaginative transitions, which have been meticulously put together in a coherent way. There’s nothing shoddy or amateurish about this mix. TexMex Shaman plays all the guitar and bass stuff himself and does so quite well. His tone and style reminds me of late 60’s early 70’s bands like The Pretty Things and Jefferson Airplane, basically post mod era but before classic rock. It’s just very groovin.’
The rest of the EP is a worthwhile listen as well, as each of the other songs stand on their own with distinct identities. One particularly entertaining track is Peking Bass, the sound of which could best be described as C+C Music Factory on acid. There’s also a nifty, mini outro titled You look kinda like my neighbor Gordon (lol,) which sounds like it was made from 1950’s spaceship sound effects like those you’d hear in movies like The Forbidden Planet or old Twilight Zone episodes.
This guy clearly doesn’t give a crap about musical conformity or industry standards. That’s a good thing, because 99% of what is played on the radio today is garbage and isn’t interesting at all. TexMex Shaman’s Fever In the South is on another level and will attract the audiences who dwell on those wavelengths which can’t be purchase with mere money (you should still buy the album though.)
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