Mario Kart: Summer jams. Bah-humbug. That’s cool that it’s 100 degrees outside and being recession proof means working a ridiculous amount of hours as a waiter on top of the three hours of school a night.
But if you guys want to do drugs and hang out a non-existent beach in your ray-bans, by all means Rainbow Bridge, Crocodiles, Wavves, Real Estate, etc.. is your soundtrack to a totally awesome summer. For those of us who only feel the effects of the sweet summer sun only when it is pounding in our faces as we wait for the bus, we have Mario Kart. Mario Kart is Braden J Mckenna of well, Braden J. Mckenna, Navigator, and Wylde Wyzyrds and Stephen Walter. Mario Kart is 13 track 20 minute tornado of self aware lo-fi fuzz pop-punk ripping through a trailer park of a stale musical trend that has been running for the past 2 years. Mario Kart seems bent on proving that anyone who can play 3 chords, has access to crappy recording equipment, can bang out songs that Pitchfork and any unassuming wavves clone would go nuts over. I’m talking tin can drumming, the indistinguishible vocals over/under surf/blues guitar riffs, you know the uush. I am not coming out and saying this is a parody of young bands cashing in on an unsustainable sound, but I think it is a little early for an homage. Mario Kart is an embrace of all the cringe worhy elements of lo-fi pop punk that make this whole craze a lot of fun. And it is free!
Bad Children, Mario Kart, and Wylde Wyzyrds all inhabit a different space in the McKenna-verse, however Gigantic Monster Cave sounds like Braden playing Braden. Multi-tracked, strummed guitars and his affable warble steps beyond the pale of his previous projects in stark transparency. Listening to Gigantic Monster Cave has a sense of intimacy and immediacy as if you were in the bedroom that Braden recorded this in, watching as each idea was reproduced in the form of short-mini tracks, a “Paprika”-like parade of pitch-shifted character voices, and a sense of child like wonder present in each song. The stand out track by far is deep into the album, “The Parade of the Monster Cave” has the same kind of looped-harmony haziness that made Person Pitch such an exciting album. It is exciting to see what else Braden will put out this year, great stuff. And it is all free! Check out the link below.