Morning Teleportation‘s debut album assaults your senses, in a good way. Lead singer Tiger’s (yes, that’s his name) neurotic vocals – something like the vocal timbre of Isaac Brock mixed with the anxiety and freneticism of David Byrne – soar above driving four-on-the-floor beats, a glimmering polyphonic mix of synthesizer and electric guitar lines, and a variety of crazed, Coltrane-esque guitar solos or trumpet lines. Their album represents a fantastic distillation of what I imagine to be an absolutely dazzling live show; these guys must kill it in the clubs, bringing roomfuls of hippiesters to sweaty peaks of frenzy with their psych-disco rock that leaves plenty of space for extended dance-party jamming.
As an album, there isn’t a ton of variety between songs, or an overall arc. There is a lot of variety within each track, however. Their suite-like, prog-styled songwriting is schizophrenic, constantly changing beat, affect, and style within one composition. This musical ADHD means that you’re constantly ping-ponging rhythms, melodies, and emotional responses throughout the album, and all the songs seem to bleed together. That being said, there are some gems here.
Take “Banjo Disco”, for example, which comes as billed: banjo lays the foundation for a badass, tom-heavy dance beat, while Tiger’s indie-tenor voice crafts a poppy melody over this KEXP-friendly single. A melange of synth solos and sound effects are a wonderful postmodern counterpart to the acoustic background. Most other songs offer a delightfully manic mess of guitars, horns, synths, and quasi-shouted vocals, like the anthemic “Snow Frog vs. Motor Cobra” with its quirky melodies and talk box guitar climax, or the singalong stop-time of “Expanding Anyway”. You might not always listen to this album all the way through, but you’ll be stoked every time bits and pieces come up in your shuffle.