Magic Mouth frontman Stephfon Bartee blasts off this four-song EP with a shout of, “Ain’t you got no shame?!” 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 wouldn’t have evolved into one of the most bracingly ecstatic live acts in Portland. Following last year’s 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. “Swampy Seconds” finds Bartee testifying against handclaps and Pete Condra’s echoing guitar stabs a la the Clash’s “Know Your Rights,” while “Speak Softly After Dark (For Nina)” and the aptly titled “Disco Song” shake life back into mid-’00s dance punk by investing it with actual groove. Amid all the exhilaration, though, the record’s most stunning moment is also its calmest: “Mother Lode” is a sparkling, vibes-abetted ballad, hung on a graceful R&B bassline and Bartee’s gleaming falsetto, showcasing a dynamism that should bode well for the band’s eventual full-length—which can’t 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+.