Friday, June 6, 2014

Album Review: "The Maximalist" by Megafauna

Maximalist by Megafauna
 It's time to meet a celebrated guitarist out of Austin, Texas.

Dani Neff.

You've never heard of her either? It's a crime against nature that this very talented woman has not been heard by the wider world. She has been chosen as Austin's best electric guitarist by the Austin Chronicle.

Considering the music scene in Texas's favorite weird city, that's high praise indeed.

Though she's oft referred to as a shredder, but that feels like an inappropriate tag for her style of play. There's nothing wrong with shred, from where I sit, but it implies notes for the sake of notes and often at the expense of the song, and that's not what she does.

What struck me first was the guitar sound Nef has dialed in. It's gritty. It's dripping. It just oozes tone. It brings to mind a rusty file being dragged over the strings.

It's truly glorious.

Her playing ranges from chords held out for days to riffing to speedy chord progressions to melody lines to fuzzy solos.

The songs, though similar in timbre, never sound the same as the one before it.

Her vocals are melancholy and strong. She has the range and power to go from a whisper reminiscent of MLny Parsonz and the screams of Flyleaf and the wisdom to know what to do and when to do it.

The production value of this album is phenomenal. The notes are clear and ringing. There were times when Nef's hand swiping the strings was audible. This is not the most pleasing sound in the world, but it speaks to the quality of the recording.

Between her lyrics, her vocals, and her guitar, this record was a hit out of the box for me.

Release: 4/15/2014
Genre: Rock
Label: DIY
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