Pylon: Chomp More (DFA)

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Pylon: Gyrate
Pylon: Chomp More (DFA)

Anyone taken by the jerky and anxious sound of the Essential Elsewhere album by the Feelies, Crazy Rhythms, might find this one a similarly enticing proposition.

Released in '83 by a four-piece out of Athens, Georgia fronted by Vanessa Briscoe's yelp'n'edgy vocals, this was the second album for Pylon who were much admired by the young REM.

But it is the tense, sometimes surf-guitar sound of Randall Bewley which propels this in much the same way as the Feelies. Everything feels tight and constrained, the drums and bass (Curtis Crowe, Michael Lachowski) lock in on the money too. A very claustrophobic sound in some ways -- and yet by its very spaciousness of placement, the instruments all breathe with crisp clarity.

This is rather more American New Wave than the stuttering pop of the Feelies (closer to Talking Heads fronted by Kate Pierson of the B52s, also out of Athens -- or even Lena Lovich in places).

The original album was simply entitled Chomp but this reissue adds a couple of rarities and their own remixes of a couple of tracks, hence Chomp More. It is hardly essential or quite as groundbreaking as they might believe, but there is more than enough in the wiry guitars and staccato beats to keep your interest.

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Andrew Schmidt - Dec 4, 2009

REM did a pretty good cover of Crazy. That vocal (on the video clip)sounds a hell of a lot like Kurt Cobain.

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