Shplang: Los Grandes Excritos (1995 To 2019)

Shplang: Los Grandes Excritos (1995 To 2019) will be released Friday, December 6 on CD and digital download, and is available for pre-order at Big Stir Records.

The album includes selections from their albums Journey to the Center of Mirth, Self Made Monk, American Cream and My Big Three Wheeler, plus three previously unreleased tracks: “Delacroix,” “Little Star,” and “Mommie’s Pie.”

Shplang emerged in 1994 as the brainchild of singer-songwriter Peter Marston and visual artist / designer John Krause. The best way to prepare yourself to enjoy Shplang’s music is to think in terms of George Clinton…if you go in with expectations other than to be thoroughly surprised and entertained, labels won’t help you navigate these seas.

Just as Clinton has employed Parliament, Funkadelic, and its associated offshoots as a blank funk & soul canvas for his amusement, the world is also Shplang’s oyster, where anything can happen, and it usually does…repeatedly, unexpectedly, and gleefully. The album is a sonic stew of power pop, psychedelia, surf, soul, folk, Mariachi music, and more. To paraphrase Amity Island police chief Martin Brody, if you want to put this band in a box, you’re gonna need a bigger box.

There are straight-ahead pop songs…“Spanish Galleons,” “Come Love,” “Little Star,” and more…plus the fuzzed-out freakout “Sway,” the Mariachi-becomes-garage workout “I Don’t Know, I Don’t Care,” the folk-rock “Sucker,” more garage (with an added bonus of chickens, psychedelia and French spoken / sung lyrics) on “Delacroix,” the sunny goofball lounge bounce of “No One Knows,” and more. To explain everything happening on this album in a way that explains its center, its vibe, its genre, you can only go back to the Clinton analogy, or perhaps one of Frank Zappa’s more adventurous excursions. Each song is its own center, the allegiance shown to any kind of instant analysis is “none.”

And to quote another Avant-garde pioneer, David Byrne, the easiest way to make sense of this album is if you’ll allow it to stop making sense. Ready for an adventure? Strap in and go for a ride with Shplang.