Very unexpected, this. Think Santana in a psychedelic African jungle with a detour down a Bolivian back street, and one gets a glimpse of the magical soundscapes of this Bay Area what-have-you quartet. Whether or not their instrument devoured a newspaper, or their collective decibel-dog ate their musical homework is beside the point. What does matter is that the music is sophisticated and memorable without being distant and aloof.
The 66-minute album begins with an impressive jubilant jab and righteous right cross (“Humans Do” and “High-end Logistics”) before descending through a surreal section of abstract funk ‘n prog (“My Piano Lament” and “Custer”), flies over the Atlantic into another timeframe with future’s past percussion (“Mapale” and the trippy title track), breaks it down into an intense and complicated riff on 60s bachelor pad juxtapositions (“Boogeyman”), an inspired interlude (“Overture”) prefacing local politics ‘n bossa supernova (“Police Brutality”), calypso dirges sped up for a lick and a promise (“Time (This Song Doesn’t Exist)”), hip hop and another Man rap for good measure (“Dmv”), falling down betwixt a descent buzz, indeed (“Dopehead”), and another slice of witty percussion-driven head bop (“Mississippi River”), which is concluded with a fine exclamation point, post-paper banquet, or otherwise (“My Piano’s Joy”).
Truth be told, Antioquia manages a coherent, consistent, and focused sound without ever once paying the slightest bit of attention towards tried-and-true tempo changes. Instead, the unique nature of their songs—helped quite a bit by an ability to keep it funky, man, and rolling along at an infectious and accelerated pace—are bolstered by the simple fact that often one’s music can get across to the listener just by being fun, danceable, and good. And there are ample quantities of that heady trio on My piano ate the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. Perhaps, the band can devour the Web next time. Dunno. Future’s uncertain, but with bands like this around, at least it’ll be interesting.