Yes, it's the third time I've done it in a week and it's getting really hackneyed. I know and I'm sorry. But it's such a musical meme right now that the comparison is basically unavoidable.
Luckily, though, the playful, cacophonous racket on Alvin Band's debut album Mantis Preying owes just as much to Bobby McFerrin and Brian Wilson (in his drug years) as it does to the four-man freak-pop act from Baltimore. Alvin Band is the solo project of Rick Alvin Shaier, the frontman of Miniature Tigers. And when I say solo, I mean solo -- the album is a one-man vocal symphony that Shaier recorded in a friend's bathroom in Phoenix using just a mic and a Powerbook. I'm guessing he had some chemical help, too, but maybe I just say that because listening to his music is sort of like tripping on acid. No, seriously; think Freddie Mercury performing "Vegetables" in a tie-dyed tent, and you're only halfway there.