Rock and roll is a revolution. It’ll keep spinning, tuned-in heads will keep making records for nobody to hear so that we always have fresh slices for the soundtrack to the revolution, when we decide a large proportion of things we do are completely stupid and actively get in the way of what makes us truly happy. Alas, until that day utterly superb bands will continue to churn out mesmeric records and surprise me every few months with a real humm-dinger and you fuckers are all too blind and too stupid to notice. I like to know how you think the world is ever going to get any better if you just roll over and let the record companies tattoo your arse with their copyright. I present to you a wonderful opportunity to fuck those cunts at Apple right up with a simple act of revolutionary penance, and out of it you’ll get a superb rock and roll record to treasure that is unique and funny in a way a lot of heavier music isn’t and the smug knowledge that Apple are a few pounds/dollars/euros poorer and the band are a great many pounds richer. Go out, right now, before you read any further, and buy Megafauna’s debut album, so that they get a flush of attention and can make another one. You won’t be disappointed. Give as much as you like, I guarantee whatever you paid will be worth it.
Let me blow yer mind first by talking about economics. When you buy a record in a music store, about ten percent of what you pay goes back to the artist, a further 20/30 goes to the label, and the store pockets the rest (generally speaking, please do not write to me about your ethical store you philanthropic motherfucker). Now this was all fine and dandy if your music store had black wood everywhere and was staffed by a bunch of hairy talking music encyclopaedias, because it wasn’t just a place to pick up records and be parted from your dolla’, it was a place for the revolution to organise, associate and socialise. You could hear new stuff, get hipped on to local stuff going down and begin any manner of friendships and adventures. That, summed up, means that for every ten pounds/dolla’/euro you fork out, the band gets one. And that one dollar has got to be divided up amongst the band/agent/manager et cetera. Now, in my city, there aren’t many good record shops, and those that are good are a shadow of what they should and could be, and mostly I can buy from lame chain stores staffed by students who don’t care about music and just designed to hoover cash out of my wallet. I can go online too, but iTunes and Amazon pull the same 60/40 split shit that the old record stores did, but without the smart staff and the nice shop from which to plan the revolution. If you buy an album from Bandcamp for four of your hard-earned earth money, the band gets 85 pennies of the pound. Bandcamp takes a 15% stake of whatever you pay. So you buy a record for ten at your crappy chrome and glass chain store, the band gets one, you buy it for two from Bandcamp, the band gets 1.70. nearly double. So that is why you ought to buy as direct from the artist as you possibly can. If you buy from Bandcamp, a tenner will get you five albums instead of just one, and you give each band nearly double what they’d get from record sales. You get more music, the band gets more money, it’s win-win (unless you’re a HMV, Apple or Amazon shareholder in which case please get a gun and rid the world of your stench permanently). The bigger artists usually allow you to deal direct through the label, so you can buy your Earth stuff through Southern Lord, and the band and the label get all of your money. Don’t reward crappy stores with a huge chunk of your cash for being nothing more than a shitty Norah Jones-playing warehouse to store all the good records in one corner. By the same token, if there is a great record shop in your area run by cool heads who love music and run a good establishment, hang out there, advertise for them when you buy something and post on Facebook about what you bought and where, I’m sure every band I’ve ever written about would gladly give quality record stores 60% of their cut to keep the whole thing afloat. Organise, associate, socialise – the more you know, the more dangerous you are to the people who want to stop you. Megafauna would get 79p from your iTunes purchase of their whole album, so why not give them five of your earth money? They’ll appreciate it more than you know and you still save three quid!
Well, that got tangential didn’t it? Fuck that, back to Megafauna. Described by Thax Douglas, Austin’s live mythical rock poet, as ‘one of the best bands on the planet’, Megafauna had some serious boots to fill, and by God on this album they fill those boots and spill out over the sides, then they go stomping all over the dividing line between dream pop and thunder rock until, like a muddy school playing field in the rain, you can’t remember or discern where the boundary even lies anymore. The music is just that, crashing and hugely enjoyable thunderous rock and roll staying in the same stable as those Torche mustangs, and a cleansing clean-vodka female vocal over the top provided by Brooklyn shredder Dani Neff. The music is fresh and light and dance-worthy and chock-a-block full of things metal people will appreciate. In an Austin scene of blues pastiche and classic rock throwback bands, Megafauna must have been an incredible revelation for the locals, like a streaker at a funeral, you have to tip your hat.
Go down to their bandcamp and give them some earth money and some love, they deserve every bit.
Written under duress by Steven.