Chavez - Gone Glimmering Music Album Reviews

Chavez - Gone Glimmering Music Album Reviews
The indie rock band made two filler-free albums full of primal thrills and then disappeared. This reissue feels more like a reintroduction than a reassessment. 

Chavez were a perfect comet of a band: At the height of the mid-’90s indie boom in New York, they made two filler-free albums in two years that sounded like each other but not like anything else, then didn’t break up so much as quietly stop existing. They never made a Difficult Third Album; they didn’t fade away because there wasn’t really anything to fade from. They were great and then they were gone.
Their 1995 full-length debut Gone Glimmering and 1996’s Ride the Fader feature interstitial snippets of people gawping in delight at fireworks displays and roller coasters, and the songs that surround them aspire to that mood and that level of entertainment—primal thrills that are simple to understand but complicated to deliver. Chavez were Coney Island’s rickety, beloved Cyclone; you can hear the parts grinding and the danger of collapse is part of the fun.

Chavez began life as a supergroup of sorts, at least by an extremely 1995 metric. Lead singer and guitarist Matt Sweeney had been in Skunk, who put out two albums on Twin/Tone that sounded like New Jersey’s answer to old Twin/Tone Soul Asylum. (This is a compliment.) Guitarist Clay Tarver had been in Boston’s Bullet LaVolta, which put out a couple of albums of East Coast grunge before breaking up in 1992. Chavez was (significantly) greater than the sum of these parts.

Reveling in deeply unfashionable, doomy ’70s prog and proto-metal—titles like “Wakeman’s Air” and “The Flaming Gong” are signposts even if the dressed-down Lower East Side vibe isn’t—the nine songs on Gone Glimmering, built around Sweeney and Tarver’s call-and-response guitars and getaway-car squeals, all feel of a piece. You could listen to this album steadily over the course of 25 years and still not clock the exact moment when opener “Nailed to the Blank Spot” turns into “Break Up Your Band.” “Laugh Track” and “Ghost By the Sea” might be the perfect distillation of the band’s innate, almost symphonic sense of quiet-loud-quiet drama, and jittery closer “Relaxed Fit” bakes the ethos right into the title. Meanwhile “Pentagram Ring” is what happens when they trade that dynamic for an actual groove.

They were tagged with the quixotic “math rock” label, signifying a bookish intent that the band’s influences and underlying hesher vibe couldn’t quite support. They were highly skilled musicians—drummer James Lo in particular—which almost seemed beside the point. An exhaustive, charmingly geeky video interview between Tarver, Sweeney, and Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13 pegged to the Gone Glimmering 25th anniversary reissue goes deep into the weeds about tunings and approach, ultimately exposing the band’s signature assault as a series of happy accidents, a point Sweeney is adamant about. “I cannot play a single guitar part that Clay does in Chavez and he doesn’t know what I’m doing,” he told FRONTRUNNER in May 2020. “But those two guitar parts would work together well.”

Compared to other recent Class of ‘95 reissues like Yo La Tengo’s Electr-O-Pura, Pavement’s Wowee Zowee, and Guided By Voices’ Alien Lanes, Matador’s anniversary reissue feels less about nostalgia or a valedictory salute than a re-introduction. The 1995 Pentagram Ring EP fills out this deluxe edition, with four tracks that feel in turns sludgier and more rudimentary than what wound up on the album proper. “The Nerve” is a heaping slab of “Custard Pie,” and “You Faded” is as straightforward and tuneful as they get.

Once Chavez wound down, owing mainly to members getting grown-up jobs and a general lack of popular deterrent from doing so, Sweeney began his rise as alt-rock’s own Waddy Wachtel, playing with everyone from Billy Corgan, Guided by Voices, and Will Oldham to Neil Diamond, Adele, and posthumously, Johnny Cash. Tarver was an executive producer on Silicon Valley while bassist Scott Marshall (son of Garry, nephew of Penny) dove into the family business. Chavez regrouped for a handful of shows and a three-song EP in 2017, and while all this has helped burnish the band’s legacy, it hasn’t added any artificial weight or import to Gone Glimmering. The album hasn’t retroactively become a touchstone for a new generation of rock bands nor does it feel tied to its era as some indie artifact. But it may stand as a model of how to present a fully realized vision from moment one and then get out before anyone has a chance to fuck it up. Break up your band.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Chavez - Gone Glimmering Music Album Reviews Chavez - Gone Glimmering Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, November 20, 2020 Rating: 5

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