“What’s in a name?” The query is posed in the very first sentence of Mwahaha‘s official bio. The band, formed in 2011, “answers that question with a smirk.” And it is a knowing smirk, at that.
Comprising former members of Clipd Beaks and Ned, the boys from Mwahaha — who will open this year’s Phono del Sol Music and Food Festival, July 21 — are comfortable with their guitars, drums, synths and samplers, and it shows, as they unleash both the analog and digital on their debut self-titled LP with precision and taste — nodding to the schizo sounds of Skrillex and the Beatles in quick succession on “Love,” a song that moves from dialup-modem-dubstep-destruction into a punctuated, harmonizing cadence that recalls the Fab Four’s sitar-and-tabla-driven “Within You Without You.” Check out the 1:27 mark of “Love” and compare that to the following Sgt. Pepper track at two minutes:
In these ways and more (see: post-ironic name), Mwahaha are a band that could have only been created in a post-Web 2.0 world. Not only are they aware of all that has come before them, but they are able to synthesize the sprawling scope of the Western musical tradition in a way that would have been impossible before the Internet allowed us to skip from decade to decade and genre to genre faster than it used to take to flip a record over.
In short, by cramming myriad genres into the blender and hitting puree, Mwahaha epitomize everything that is brilliant about the age of Attention Deficit Disorder.