Saturday, September 04, 2004

Band Review: Chavez

I discovered this band by listening to one of their cuts on a Matador Records sampler CD set "Everything's Nice". That song was "Flight '96" from the "Ride The Fader" CD, and it totally turned me on to this band.

This music is often noisy, loud, like bombs going off... sometimes the guitars sound dissonant, and you wonder where the music is going next. Yet, all of its elements fit together perfectly. Listening to Chavez is like deep-sea diving into a world of unseen wonders. Your mind is taken into new musical places, your brain tickled by each new layer of guitar texture you hear.

Get into your car, put this in your CD player, put the top down and go for a fast drive on a sunny day. This will be your reward!


I think the "Pentagram Ring" EP CD is worth owning for the title cut alone. The overall guitar work of Matt Sweeney and Clay Tarver is swirling and dense, and every note played serves a purpose, which must be to tear your mind into various pieces. (A friend of mine described the music of My Bloody Valentine that way.) When you get it back together, you want more! (And sadly, like MBV, this band put out far too little music...)

Like their Matador labelmates Guided By Voices during the mid-90's, Chavez produced music that contains many "earworms"... that is, the musical stuff that gets in your head and stays in there for days. Some of Chavez's music is reminiscent of Guided By Voices re. the vocals, vocal harmonies and melodies, but this has a more beefed-up instrumental sound with some incredible rough-edged, churning guitar textures and solos.

If you can find this, buy it... don't miss out!


CHAVEZ put out a second full-length CD, "GONE GLIMMERING", which contains the song "Pentagram Ring". I may mention this CD in a future post... it's also very, very good.

As a matter of fact, Matador Records has an excellent artist roster, including New Pornographers, Interpol, Guided By Voices, Chavez, Liz Phair's early material, the techno/trance Burger/Ink, Khan, some of Mogwai's albums, and many others. Their catalog is worth exploring!


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