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A review of...
My Band is a Computer by CHUCK
CHUCK's recordings neatly compiled by the Audio Antihero / Old Money labels
I'd already listened to My Band is a Computer a couple of times before I read the press release, so it came as something of a surprise that this is not in fact a "proper" album, but a compilation of the various recordings that CHUCK (Charles Griffin Gibson) has put out over the past few years. Intended as both a retrospective and an introduction to a wider audience, this collection has been put together in such a way that it plays like a regular album to the uninitiated/uneducated. Of course, that my well be because CHUCK hasn't changed too much over the half a decade he's been recording, but in relation to the smooth sequencing of this record it can only be seen as a good thing. The happy/sad vibe flows consistently throughout, and even when we get to the shiny pop veneer of "Bushwick Girl" it still has a darkened sarcastic underbelly which pairs it perfectly with the more somber, but equally effective numbers like "Phoebe’s Lips". The music found here is classic bedroom lo-fi pop, aiming for Grandaddy or The Beach Boys or The Cure, but with a fraction of their budget. It's not just the low budget that ties CHUCK down as a textbook underground act though, Gibson's singing voice is certainly something of an acquired taste. I have to admit it took me a few listens to really get into it, but once you're over the line there's nothing you can feel towards this record except for good will.
"Joan" - I think I'm right in saying that Frog are the backing band for many of the tracks on My Band is a Computer (Audio Antihero have also put out a couple of releases by Frog, so there's a definite love-in going on), and this track could be seen as the prefect companion piece to that band's "Judy Garland", complete with a spine tingling melody and historical references. It's that good.