Monday, February 25, 2008

PYLON - Chomp

Chomp, released in 1983 by Athens, GA new wave band Pylon, has one of the best album covers ever. How can you go wrong with a giant picture of a T-Rex? Fortunately, the music on the record is just as awesome.

Pylon had a sound all their own - one highly regarded by fellow Athens acts of the same time such as R.E.M. and The B-52's. It was a killer combination of Vanessa Briscoe's yelp-to-growl vocals, Michael Lachowski's driving bass, Curtis Crowe's pulsating drumming and Randall Bewley's sharp, angular guitar. The material they created is bizarre and random, yet totally addictive and danceable.

Chomp was Pylon's second LP, following 1980's Gyrate. While Gyrate was recently remastered and reissued on CD by DFA Records, Chomp still hasn't been released outside of vinyl. It's a shame because the LP is just as strong as its predecessor, taking the crunchy sound of the debut and fleshing it out with a bit more melody and experimentation.

The record kicks off with K, a crazy homage to Scrabble. The funky Yo-Yo gives the crunch and growling a break, bouncing along and sounding a bit like Devo. The two-minute, energetic Italian Movie Theme is a strong instrumental. The melodic Crazy, No Clocks, and Altitude are lyrically and musically compelling. Other songs - such as Beep, Spider and Gyrate - are reminiscent of the angular workouts on the debut LP.

Hopefully we'll see a remastered and expanded CD release of Chomp sometime in the near future. Until then, here is my vinyl rip of the album:

DELETED 10/8/09 - DFA Records is releasing a CD reissue of Chomp with bonus tracks! It's available here.

Track listing:
1 - K
2 - Yo-Yo
3 - Beep
4 - Italian Movie Theme
5 - Crazy
6 - M-Train
7 - Buzz
8 - No Clocks
9 - Reptiles
10 - Spider
11 - Gyrate
12 - Altitude

- Vanessa Briscoe - lead vocals
- Randall Bewley - guitar
- Curtis Crowe - drums
- Michael Lachowski - bass

- Pylon on Wikipedia
- Pylon official site
- Pylon MySpace site


Uncle E said...

Very cool topic for a blog, man. Came across it via Holly's links. Think I may be returning...

Uncle E said...

Hey, by the way: you ever do a posting on The Senseless Things? A much underappreciated band that put out one really great album.
And thank YOU for the kind words on my little site. Welcome aboard, hope you come back often!

Franko6677 said...

Thanks, UE! Can't say that I'm familiar with The Senseless Things. Will have to look into.

rangeli said...

Fabulous! Love Pylon, thanx.

By the way: i've been looking for a vinyl rip of the Beep/Altitude 12 inch single, the only way i can grab my hands on a song called "Four Minutes". If you can help me, please do.

jonderneathica said...

Chomp is being remastered for reissue, hopefully this year.

"Four Minutes" is "Beep". The chorus of the song "Beep" consists of the words "four minutes".

caleb said...

RIP Randall