Fungi Girls
Seafaring Pyramids
Play Pinball

It’s hard to imagine a song like “Dystopic Vision” comes straight from the mouths of the same babes we introduced here on the pages of Primitive Futures almost six months ago. Amazingly, on their debut LP Seafaring Pyramids, the teens in Fungi Girls have stripped away any awkward obfuscation made by recording their demos on digital cameras and entered a world flush with hushed kiwi pop, the psychedelic bubblegum likely still found in the Texas dirt, and earnest bits of precious minimalism that may or may not have come from worshipping a worn copy of the Young Marble Giants’ Colossal Youth. Don’t get me wrong, the Cleburne, Texas trio didn’t exactly grow up over the summer—there are still some questionable lyrics, some questionable riffs copped from an existence in rural nowhere dominated by mall-punk (Everclear?) and the questionable tastes of skate-cretins. But one would have to dig deep under the fabric to nit and pick all of those knots out. If anything those greener qualities, which must stem from living in the twilight before the discovery of sex and the days when sex will destroy you, add a rush of enthusiasm to their faster, aggro, goofier spats. There will be mistakes, and pulled out of the lo-fi quagmire and into a studio (with Jason Kelly of Denton duo Fergus and Geronimo), those tiny mishaps are indeed magnified. But they certainly can’t kill the spirit.

These kids have a monster knack for melody. Take for instance “Dream of Oz,” which begins like a beginners course in aping the Jesus and Mary Chain, full of faux atmosphere and long pause, but soon becomes the band’s signature. There’s a mourning in singer Jacob Bruce’s voice, a plaintive innocence and indifference that tends to be patterned on nothing but boredom and what could be. The trio seem bored within their own lethargic beauty, quickly busting the song into a basement mosh pit to simply clear the room for their next sugary venture. Anyone who had the pleasure of discovering these guys via their Psilo demo will no doubt remember the infectious energy of “Into the Cosmos” and “Crystal Roads,” two highlights that, though laboriously caked in hiss and distortion, showed the promise of a band that knew their way around a hook. This is revealed in re-recorded versions on Seafaring Pyramids. Everything is clearer, fuzz gives way to reverb, and the teens instantly shred any alliance to the shitgaze masses in exchange for discernable and pleasant psychedelic indie rock that belies their age.

But their age is something that also can’t be denied. There’s a nice dichotomy at work on Seafaring Pyramids. Though “Kowloon Walled City” is a rote little narrative of aliens and alleyways (their words are the only thing that gives that age away), the piercing feedback squalls that compose the entire structure show a matured bent towards experimentation and fucking with the altimeters. The same goes for the sonic billowing that swallows “Clouds” whole. Despite being a bit rudimentary, the band knows how to shroud it in anonymous mystery, icy dull neon, and pink smoke. I’m sure in the coming years—once they can drive and start touring the country—their arc could go either way: become increasingly precise in their craft or uncomfortably jaded by the whole scene. Regardless of the future, this is an album that had a modicum of thought behind it and a raw and spontaneous vision. Be it young and naive to a degree, it is still an informed pop vision nevertheless.
Kevin J. Elliott