Applied Communications "Africa Baby, Yeah Yeah Yeah"

Have you ever known any little kids who were already at least twice as connected and cool and full of indie cred as yourself? Max Wood (uh, even his name is cooler than yours), the post-one of those behind Applied Communications, is a prime example. Growing up with a Sub Pop employee for a mom and associating with semi-famous punks, "normal” for Max was "alternative” for everyone else. But the outcome is fortunate; where pretension or elitism might be expected, excessive weirdness is in full bloom. Wood makes energetic lo-fi fake hip-hop beats with a Casio and some other combo equipment and flows over them, sort of, in a rather distinctive speak-rap style. He’s predictably quirky, delivering math class love song lines like "I want you divided by me, I’m the cross product of your matrices,” before the song bursts into big, fancy string parts. After that he indie rocks out on "Salmon,” sort of-singing "You may be a fish, I may be a boy, but together we can be a fish and a boy” in his awkward lilt. It’s a delightfully fun mess of mix’n’match, cut’n’paste DIY silliness that reminds us you can still get by on goofy honesty. (Discos Mariscos)