Ferris Wheel's Day Off: Mungion Returns With Excellent Sophomore Album

Ferris Wheel's Day Off: Mungion Returns With Excellent Sophomore Album

Chicago-based quartet Mungion have exploded lately. Their blinding chops, ability to flash between genres, ultra-tight rhythm, and infectious songwriting make for a delightful melange of blistering, hyperactive jams, lofty vocal harmonies, and their own unconventional je ne sais quoi. Their newest effort, Ferris Wheel’s Day Off, finds Mungion honing their craft and expanding their sound.

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After the blazing, rapid-fire one-two punch of album opener “One Night Stan” into the hootenanniest bluegrass I’ve heard in a while in “Makanda,” the title track sees Mungion jetting off into space, shifting from juicy carnival crunch to Phish-esque breakdowns and bewildering melodic runs that threaten to spiral out of control. At just under 11 minutes, “Ferris Wheel’s Day Off” is an aural spectacle that wanders through peaks and valleys before crash landing with breathless abandon.

From luminous calypso in “Quemaste tu Cabello” to the astounding weirdness of “Parn Kournt vs. Card Farm,” Mungion meanders between quick, sharp bursts of frenetic energy and long, stretched-out feasts for the ears. Juicy keys and organ blend in with dazzling guitar licks, and they all run wild over churning bass and rock-solid drums, careening and free-wheeling from one idea to the next. As the music progresses, it’s impossible not to smile and nod along.

Jam bands have long been known for mixing genres together in their songwriting and finding new musical ground. Mungion continue the tradition proudly, balancing between their influences in the scene and their obvious desire to push the envelope and forge new frontiers for their music. Calling them a “jam band” isn’t even entirely accurate, and labeling them isn’t important. What is important is the music they make and the wonderful connection they have with their fans. In that context, Ferris Wheel’s Day Off is a triumphant sophomore effort, sure to please old fans and turn the heads of new ones.

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