- Hometown: Austin, TX
As the title to Austin trio Megafauna’s sophomore album Maximalist might suggest, it’s optimistic, expansive and unabashedly over-the-top; an endeavor to take music to its utmost potential. The band’s supercharged mixture of sounds ranging from prog-rock flash to alt-rock iconoclasm to pithy power-pop and garage rock energy is as infectious as it is inclusive. Megafauna paves their own hook-laden path — much like the Pixies and Queen, who taught the world that even the most unusual pairings of styles can result in unforgettable and eternal classics.
Megafauna singer/guitarist Dani Neff was named Austin’s Best Electric Guitarist by the Austin Chronicle. Although she’s frequently referred to as a “shredder,” one should never mistake her tasteful and clever virtuosity for flagrant flashiness. She’s a woman of many talents: a dancer, musician, painter, feminist, lawyer, reiki practitioner, psychonaut — clearly someone who embodies the maximalist philosophy.
The album kicks off with the driving, time-signature leaping rocker, “Eggs” in which drummer Zack Humphrey, bassist Greg Yancey and Neff shift rhythms on a dime while showcasing exactly what makes Megafauna a band to covet: their expertise at fusing seemingly disparate musical styles. Likewise, “Hug From a Robot” somehow perfectly pairs gliding melodies with hard rock bite, something akin to The Breeders meets Red-era King Crimson. Elsewhere, the perfectly radio-ready track “Time To Go” blasts off with chiming guitar as Neff coos, “When it’s time to go/ It’s time/ Won’t you sail me down to the fields.” Death never sounded so uplifting in a 3-minute rock song. “Haunted Factory” gallops along Humphrey’s syncopated hi-hat/snare interplay as Yancey’s rumbling, distortion-ravaged bass lines cut like fangs across Neff’s swiftly-picked guitar work as her powerful voice soars above the proceedings. Throughout, Maximalist is a truly inspired effort poised to become a touchstone of rock innovation.
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