Whacky band impresses

With CD cover photos that are too weird to ignore and bold enough to magnetize, Vancouver quartet Maria in the Shower inhabits its own eccentric, time-uncertain universe

 

Maria in the Shower: The Hidden Sayings of Maria in the Shower

With CD cover photos that are too weird to ignore and bold enough to magnetize, Vancouver quartet Maria in the Shower inhabits its own eccentric, time-uncertain universe.  About the disc cover: if you’ve ever travelled the Fraser Canyon and been struck by the flashes of strangeness in the landscape (bone dry towns, sheer canyon walls, forgotten railroad cemeteries), this grabs the end-of-the-line existence at this edge of the continent.

But that’s just the cover. The gloomy perceptions linger on slightly, but are lightened by the dramatic New Orleans/Salvation Army sound of She Rises.  The line up of Maria in the Shower is basically acoustic: trumpet, stand up bass, keyboard/accordion, acoustic guitar and vocals.

The group incorporates folk/jump beats pushing the pulse of the tempo while holding on to the left-field arrangements and mining camp character of the songs (Tomorrow’s Song, Old Joseph Brady).  The charm of the recording is its un-selfconscious creativity; like some guitar picking, piano playing cowboys/ranch hands found some magic mushrooms and drifted into a saloon, had whiskeys and got to jamming.  Theatricality is a prime ingredient in this music; they’re Hepcat court jesters on Mojo Hand and vaudevillians with a beat (The Bee Song).  Maria in the Shower is whacky, like Laugh Inn set to a musical score or a turn-of-the-20th-century turn on.  Coherence isn’t a concern.