Bozeman band Mud Pill Palace takes psychedelic punk and sends it on a trip through a curio shop. By that time it's wearing a pirate hat, carrying a surf board and reciting gypsy folktales in mumbled tones. Therein lies the primary charm of the group's debut album The Sophisticated Monster Show. This isn't psychedelic rock content to sit around in its mom's basement and do mushrooms. It wants to get out and see something.
Musically, the band tosses Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits and Nick Cave into the blender with elements of old world music and Americana. The result is a little messy, a little chaotic, but often quite memorable. Chunky electric guitar riffs do most of the work, moving from barroom stompers to surf rock instrumentals to touches of reggae in the space of a few songs. Considering the album's diverse musical palette, it's no surprise that it meanders thematically either, using everything from graveyards to the pirate-ridden high seas for its backdrops.
Some may read that as a lack of focus, but it sounds to me like an album that just can't sit still. Listeners who aren't careful might find themselves with a case of their own wanderlust by the final track.