Jason Kick of Maus Haus Unveils Wild New Side Project, Snowboarder

Rad art, bro.
Meet Snowboarder, the left-field, secret side project just unveiled by Jason Kick of S.F. synth-shredders Maus Haus. It's loud, buzzy, and carefree -- like Maus Haus -- but it's far more hectic: Imagine the Fresh & Onlys on a bender in a German industrial club at 10 a.m. on a snowy Sunday morning.

Kick, Michael Stasis, and David Nichols have been working on the project for what looks like a few years now, hinting at it with bizarre montage videos for "Warp Zone" and "Going Up The Mountain" back in late 2010. It must have been a hard secret to keep, because the record they finally emerged with boasts seven songs of punchy hooks, brazen energy, and pure fun. And like your bro bombing through freshies, Snowboarder is absolutely all over the place, carving up every genre it gets its mittens on.

The group hops effortlessly between '60s, '70s, and '80s pop, exercising a stylistic mobility not found in Maus Haus -- or many other bands for that matter. The album was assembled largely in Kick's bedroom, but rather than indulging in mopey introspection, Snowboarder is blithe and explosive. So instead of just sitting there dumbly while stoked friends swap tales of gnar-shralping and waist deep powder, tell them you've got the perfect tunes for mastering the mountain.

Intro track "Sled Dogs" is an action-packed cruise, starting out jangly and straying into power metal. "Warp Zone" is like drunkenly making out with Kraftwerk back at the lodge hot tub. The come-up is the album's druggy disco anthem "Poppers," and the come-down is the floating and nostalgic "Teenagers." Each track is bursting at the seams with riffs and choruses epitomizing the spirit of adventure, amusement, and above all, recklessness.

Perhaps you're actually at the Scandia arcade, faking ollies on a bolted-down piece of plastic that only looks like actual sports equipment; or maybe you're just surfing YouTube. Either way, this is an alpine adventure. Kick says the project is "all in the name of fun and insanity," promising more videos and maybe even live shows for Snowboarder. You can check out the full album, along with the bossy, S.F.-meets-Traumaville artwork by Carlos Etcheverry, over at Bandcamp.

-- @Willkbutler

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