Shmu is Sam Chown, who you might know from his other project Zorch. (What can I say, the guy loves naming bands after made-up words.) Under this guise, Chown builds math-rock shoegaze epics with his sampler and a drum kit. It’s visionary stuff that sounds like heaven and hits like hell. “Pictionary,” from Shmu’s upcoming album Shhh!!!!, grounds the violent percussion and frantic arpeggios of Hella in the breathless dreamscapes of My Bloody Valentine — or rather, it streamlines those unwieldy tempos and instrumental spasms into something more like a tidal wave. There is masterful, inventive musicality at play, but the songwriting is front and center.
[Photo by Ben Aqua.]