Music Pick of the Week

Guitar Wizards of the Future

Rattle Snake Festival

Year of Release: 2016

If Oakland, California duo Coty Mcclung and Ryan Kauffman's 2011 album Space Saviors sounded like J. Masics trading bong hits with Madlip, then their latest collaboration RattleSnake Festival, is like switching the dial onto some bizarro country western station broadcasting from a bombed-out apocalypse bunker. Whereas their previous record married abstract beats, cheesy synthesizers and drunken gang vocals, this new one has a warmly intimate feeling. Hell, it's almost rustic. There's still hip-hop influenced grooves ("sup wit dat?"), synth-laden Ariel Pink-esque slow-bangers ("A Waffle on the Plate") and kitschy lounge dance jams ("Johnnie's Jam"), but Guitar Wizards of the Future really turn up the bluesy charm here. Songs like the appropriately titled "Stoned Again", with its wispy sing-along chorus/chirpy acoustic guitar combo, and "Gasoline"; complete with greasy electric guitar and slurred vocals, are highlights. As always, Mcclung and Kauffman maintain a self-reflexive sense of humor, meshing their country western/blues signifiers with odd keyboard washes, random audio samples, and warped lyrics.