Magic Mouth frontman Stephfon Bartee blasts off this four-song EP with a shout of, âAinât you got no shame?!â and the answer to that is embedded in the quaking, rockabilly-ish rave-up that follows: Nope, not even a little bit. If shame were much of a concern for these four, Magic Mouth wouldnât have evolved into one of the most bracingly ecstatic live acts in Portland. Following last yearâs introductory Believer EP, Devil May Care seamlessly translates that onstage revelry into the studio. The quartet attacks its soulful, multihyphenate funk-punk with gospelish fervor. âSwampy Secondsâ finds Bartee testifying against handclaps and Pete Condraâs echoing guitar stabs a la the Clashâs âKnow Your Rights,â while âSpeak Softly After Dark (For Nina)â and the aptly titled âDisco Songâ shake life back into mid-â00s dance punk by investing it with actual groove. Amid all the exhilaration, though, the recordâs most stunning moment is also its calmest: âMother Lodeâ is a sparkling, vibes-abetted ballad, hung on a graceful R&B bassline and Barteeâs gleaming falsetto, showcasing a dynamism that should bode well for the bandâs eventual full-lengthâwhich canât come soon enough.
SEE IT: Magic Mouth plays Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., with Double Duchess, Glitterbang, Seth Myzel and DJ Beyonda, on Friday, Sept. 20. 9:30 pm. $7. 21+.