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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Chalet Chalet
Chalet Chalet
Walking Cold Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
It's hard to know what to make of Chalet Chalet's eponymous debut EP after only a cursory listen. Hailing from the Windy City, there are many trappings you might expect these guys to fall into, but this is certainly not an overly bloated concept EP, nor is it a sprawling post-rock opus in desperate need of some trimming.

So what is it like you're asking? Well, after several more spins in the Discman I can tell you it's noisy, and in fact, the recording, which was tracked and mixed between Kingsize Sound Laboratories and Semaphore Studios, is rather trebly. It's screamy. It's got that oh-so-necessary punk attitude. There are jerky guitars that set the pace for the quick rhythm changes that dominate the songs, especially "Atrophy Wife". The nimble bass playing of Crawfie Ward - who, incidentally, is in the running for the person with the coolest name I've run across from a previously unknown band in 2003 - is certainly Chalet Chalet's highlight.

The last two tracks take a bit of a stylistic turn though. For some reason, I can't shake the notion that "HisT", with its pop hooks hiding just underneath the surface, would have found its way onto a Mighty Mighty Bosstones track listing if a different producer could have re-worked the mix and added a horn section. Then, lo and behold, the closing song, "Forman", throws in some trumpet playing for good measure.

Frankly put, the whole thing is a bit amateurish. I don't find myself going in for bands like this much at all these days, but I could see where if you were a fan of all the aforementioned things, you could probably dig it - there is a Saturday Night Fever joke to be made in here somewhere, but I'll refrain, for you, the kind and loyal reader's sake. With so many elements burgeoning in their sound, Chalet Chalet is going to have to make a crucial decision, whether it's time to rein the sonic mess in to a more structured vision, or to make their canvas proudly stand up and call Jackson Pollock a pussy.

Reviewed by Mark Skipper
Mark Skipper currently resides in Nashville, TN where he can be found skipping shows, drinking Guinness, making bad home recordings, and complaining about how much music sucks these days.

See other reviews by Mark Skipper



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