Nardwuar flexes his skills on Ogopogo Punk

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      The Evaporators
      Ogopogo Punk (Nardwuar/Mint)

      Though rarely seen, the titular figure from the Evaporators’ new Ogopogo Punk LP is one of B.C.’s most high-profile living legends. Then again, so is Nardwuar.

      But unlike the scaly, Okanagan Lake–scouring creature, the Human Serviette is more than comfortable with being in the public eye. Though many recognize the tam-and-tartan-covered journo for leading interviews in which he bestows bouquets of rare records and other assorted ephemera upon hip-hop figures, Evaporators records let him flex another set of mike skills.

      Being famously hirsute, the Nard tells barbers to put away the blade on opening number “I Can’t Be Shaved!”, a reasonably raucous garage-rawk rave-up that also brandishes a wild solo by stringman Stephen Hamm.

      Hair also figures big on “Mohawks & Dreadlocks”, a track about scene unity and getting your knots tangled in someone’s piercing in a mosh pit. The title track, meanwhile, includes Nardwuar’s helium-voiced assurance that Ogopogo likes to keep itself under the radar in the name of DIY.

      But like the chicken salad on white bread the vocalist praises on “Eat to Win”, the Evaporators are a bit of an acquired taste. To say the least, the quintet’s latest blast pushes pop-rock optimism and hokey-jokey couplets to the point of exhaustion.

      Though seasoned with savoury sax sounds, the chorus of “Tulips and turkey/Oysters, beef jerky” on “Chuckanut” is a facsimile of “Gimme some ointment/I need an appointment” from the 20-year-old anthem “I Gotta Rash”.

      Indie rapper Brother Ali steers the album into unknown territory with a golden-soul-sampling finale about “chilling with motherfuckin’ Nardwuar”. Like each interview the Nard’s done over the years, the song ends with the familiar refrain of “Doot doola doot doo.”

      It turns out Ogopogo Punk snuck in a shave and a haircut after all.