SHIT CREEK “Don’t Cry Sci-Fi Tiger” (Moon Myst Music)

Paddle or no paddle? The question hovers, unanswered, unanswerable, irrelevant as “Don’t Cry Sci-Fi Tiger” unfurls itself from glowing speakers, claws unsheathing and retracting, tail swishing, mouth yawning. It’s a languid, sleepy kind of afternoon, and Sci-Fi Tiger is not ready to pounce. It lays in the shade on its own, contemplating something that may make it sad. This is why we ask it not to cry.

Shit Creek is from Bristol, which is in the UK for those of you without a globe handy, and “Don’t Cry Sci-Fi Tiger” plays like a storybook for children in a terrible alternate universe where children are in charge somehow, demanding the adults to cater to their every whim while the plot destructive plots but get too tired to really pull anything off. Somehow that’s a place, because I conjured it, and there’s one of infinite alternate realities that went this way. Anyhoo, Shit Creek plasters noisy elements to the walls like they’re prize artworks on a refrigerator. Glommy guitar, syrupy synths, plocky percussive elements, an annoying patience with getting to where he’s going on a convoluted path that he’s plotted through detours and thickets and diversions, and in the end it doesn’t go where it was planned to go anyway, and there wasn’t even a plan to begin with.

There’s a grisly digital nightmare called “Creepy Robot Bird Monster” and an oddly restrained dribble of composition called “I’m Bursting Yr Tires You Prick! Here Comes Mr. Keys!”

That may be all you need now for your attention, and the Sci-Fi Tiger raises its head, twitches a whisker, and pixilates till it’s sated.

Ah, it was no paddle.