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Chewers, The – “Chuckle Change and Also” – [Cimmerian Shade Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   4/23/2014   A Library, CD

West Virginia duo: the product of a toxic waste dump, an
extensive Resident’s lp collection, and more than their fair
share of Neanderthal DNA. Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler
deliver their art joke rock with white boy funk (dance-floor
clearing moves) and spoken or digi-voiced lyrics. Most songs
have the rhythm of a broken rusty see-saw. Heaps of junkyard
instrumentation add to the dilapidated charm. Some kind of
bone fiddle gets sawed nearly in half at times! Not sure if it’s
me, but I smell college radio DJ’s. And I think an album like
this blossoms on radio where one song at a time, mixed in with
other tunes, cuts the punch-drunk clown vibe. For instance
“Inmate 227” could pair up with more generic blues, while
“Techo-Slaves” could kick off some King Kong klutz rock, “Teeth
Lock” could pretend to be Lightning Bolt’s little brother.
“The Fat Man” commands attention lyrically and with its art
brut daintiness offsetting the heavier sound. I want “Mutter”
to feature beat-box, but maybe not. “Blank Pavement” was my fave,
a whole new Blank Generation awaits?

-Thurston Hunger

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