ALBUM REVIEW: CHOMPER – Medicime Mountain (Iron Pier) – Some days an album can just land, fire a perfectly textured raw-edged riff or two at you and just hit that right spot – without any kind of warning, without any kind of pre-release hype or any kind of fanfare, an album can just land and just do it. No idea who this band are, not read the press release yet, not looked at the names involved, just hit the play button without looking at any of it. “Medicine Mountain” is apparently the new album from Brooklyn noise-garage band Chomper – they sound like a band called Chomper should, they sound like they’re plugged in properly, we’re talking raw-edged, just right, intellient garage rock ‘n roll, we’re feeling things like Wipers. like those Dead Boys, things like those Stooges, like Neil Young at his most electric, we’re talking the debut “noise-rock album from new Brooklyn DIY band featuring members of The Men, Guided By Voices, Beech Creeps, Junk Boys, and Dream Police”, we’re talking potent rock n’ roll, we’;re talking just the right edge to those very electric guitars, we’re talking just the right amount of feedback, just the right amount of anticipation and strings hit with perfect timing, an appreciation for that space that makes the noise so so much more. We’re talking the need to play along with them, I defy you to listen to this without your (air) guitar in hand, and yes, it does sound like it was recorded to two-inch tape in just one day, recorded in one day with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices, ESP Ohio, Beech Creeps) behind the desk, it all sounds so right (and yes, the press release has been read now).
Medicine Mountain is the debut album by Brooklyn, NY, noise-rock band Chomper, it just came out a couple of days ago via Brooklyn label Iron Pier. The band are Mark Shue from Guided by Voices and Beech Creeps, Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro from The Men, and Russell Hymowitz from Dream Police and Junk Boys. Apparently Chomper “was originally the brainchild of Shue, and brought into form by a fateful collision with old friends in Brooklyn”. They say it’s the kind of collaboration that arises from that classic “we should jam together” conversation – “We were persistent!” recalls Hymowitz. The band immediately came together so they say, they talk of “cutting their teeth at cheap rehearsal spots with a simple MO that was play loud, loose, and stress-free”. they go on to say “we just wanted to push a simple, powerful energy forward.” says Shue. “No over-thinking or hesitation.” – the press release has been well and truly read now….
The band initially began gigging around New York with Hartwick Hanson on guitar, Hanson relocated to the West Coast and was replaced by Nick Chiericozzi of The Men. “I was the final piece of the puzzle, but maybe not by design,” says Chiericozzi. “Maybe I was the final screw you found rolling around in the box.”. They say the final line-up was born and “built on total trust and without baggage or expectations”
It is about sheer velocity, that chemistry created, that almost instant one day studio process that has brought out something just right in Chomper, that feeling you get when a band just does “it”. This isn’t just jamming and riffing, this isn’t just about the sound they’ve nailed so well, this is indeed an album shot through with that crucial thing, that dose of great songs. This is a very smart album, there is, as the press release claims, “an uncommon joy and brotherhood between the members” and yes, a mutual enthusiasm for that thing called rock ‘n roll, but you do need songs, you so have to have songs, Chomper have smart songs to go with those smart riffs and that raw attitude and that just right production. Hey look, it doesn’t need any deep analysis, it doesn’t need any kind of smartass wordy review, just hit play, turn it up and do the listening for yourself, sometimes an album comes along and just hits the sweet spot in just the right way …. (sw)
For more details head to the label, IRON PIER