“Well come on down here son, that’s right, down the stairs, they might look all old and rickety but they’re as strong as yer da’s bones, come on down here mind your head as you enter the sub basement. Don’t worry, we ain’t in no shape to hurt you, we just dropped a load o’ paralysing agents and me legs are already totally absent. I expect within a coupla minutes I’ll have totally zapped out on a wave of paralysed frozen psychedelia. Don’t worry, them stairs are sticky with whisky from hundreds of hours of debauchery and the floor is likewise. Come and sit next to me. You have nothing to fear, my arms are already going limp. Don’t fret at all, this all might seem like some twisted hallucination, and it might well be, you aren’t here to gawp at me and my vast flab rolls, naw son, you’re here to watch the real beasts perform...”
Alternately sounding like sound collage of the West Virginia backwoods upbringing and the claustrophobic technological nightmare of any western city to which all backwoods boys are inevitably drawn like news helicopters to an oil fire (the specific city, though irrelevant as all cities are alike, is Nashville) and the spontaneous manifestations of a bunch of drug-ravaged hash-freaks on a cold-light-of-day comedown trapped in a recording desk. Variously soothing, terrifying, groovy, lucid, abstract, detailed and sparse; the Chewers second record is simply further fugal growth on the rot of their debut. Their scattergun style manages to be consistent, if only consistently weird while all around is completely arbitrary. A ragged assemblage of music; spoken word, drastically distorted, lyrics hinting at a deep sea of psychological torment, scrapes and scratches like Peter Gabriel’s Intruder, as well as southern grooves somehow emerging out of the whirlpool of contents to form something compelling and distinctive. And then zzzzzzzzap-Splat! In the blink your consciousness is flattened against the windscreen of the Chewers’ truck. Yessssiree for a coupla listens this just sits on the record table, not coming together really but fascinating; and then sooner or later you’ll be giving it another spin like I did when the record player will suffer a catastrophic malfunction and the Chewers will go sailing off through the room and take your head neatly off at the neck. After that you won’t be able to stop thinking about it and you’ll keep spinning just to see if it ever gets that weird again…
Their super-groovy website give you their debut for free, and this one on the excellent CDbaby for a very reasonable price.
Written under duress by Steven.