With the release of Aloa Input's effervescent if somewhat scatterbrained debut, 2013's Anysome, the Munich-based trio were quickly dubbed the poster children for a loose collection of German indie rock bands dubbed the "New Weird Bavaria" movement. As with many of other bands from that scene, Aloa Input's sound is marked by a highly inventive, lightly experimental style liberally cobbled together from an eclectic barrage of influences including '70s Krautrock, '60s psych-pop, noise-rock, electronica, and the freewheeling neo-psych experimentalism of bands like the Flaming Lips, Neutral Milk Hotel, and the Beta Band. With the group's 2015 sophomore effort, Mars Etc., the trio of Marcus Grassl (guitar/vocals), Florian Kreier (bass/guitar/synth), and Christoph "Cico" Beck (drums/electronics) have crafted a dense, buoyant production featuring a handful of melodic, rhythmically infectious songs fleshed out with all sorts of interesting instrumentation and grooves. Cuts like the lead-off "Far Away Sun" and the languid "The Door" sound like Beach Boys tunes recorded on a '50s sci-fi movie spaceship, replete with bright vocals set against vibes and gurgling electronics. Elsewhere, they achieve a twee urgency in cuts like "The Vampire Song" and "Hold On." Meanwhile, the sparkling, propulsive "Blabla Theory," with its looped, Casio Keyboard-sounding beats and yearning, quietly delivered vocals, wouldn't sound out of place on the Nick Jr. kids show Yo, Gabba Gabba! Lyrically, Aloa Input are light-hearted and fun, often striking a poetic, absurdist tone. On the lilting "21st Century Tale" they sing, "I'm a chain saw, but I wanna be a microwave instead." Ultimately, while Mars Etc. sounds like it was delightfully crafted out of brightly painted papier-mâché and a semi-dismantled Speak and Spell, it's a sound ripe with layered, spontaneous creativity that is at once surreal and dreamlike, melodic and catchy.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar