Austin’s Chronophage hooked more than a few savvy listeners last year with and out-of-nowhere gem of an album. Their LP, Prolog For Tomorrow funneled a heavy dose of ‘80s and ‘90s scuffed rock brilliance though a wet flannel, doubled-dubbed tape filter. With shades of Sebadoh compiling a mixtape of Swell Maps, Television Personalities and Pere Ubu covers, this one resonated with a good cross-section of alternate-current castoffs already scraping the underbellies of Columbus and Detroit for just such a rumble. With the follow-up hitting the shelfs this week they seek to cement their sweaty clutch on the punctured and pummeled pulpit, delivering another round of jagged-tin punk just in time for the end of the year. Just as strains of the sound tumbled out of windows of unfinished basements and into the pit at large a few decades back, they’re standing at a crossroads of cacophony, injecting clarity into the mangled missives, finding balance between the clamor and the catchy.
As they skid into Th’PIg’Kiss’d the band kicks the muffled cocoon from their sound and lets their mangled mass of post-punk rattle around the brain in brilliant mid-def glory. With the bump out of the wet breath of tape hiss, the band begins to parse out the layers of their chewed-wire wonderland. They wrangle in a bit of the heat-stroke twang of Meat Puppets, let their guitars twist their metal girder grind even further and even find a moment of tenderness on “Animated Rose.” The wider spectrum speaks to the growth between albums, though they’re still at their best when the manic edge of danger is present — their mild-mannered moments only a catch of breath before they let loose with broken knife guitar attacks and frayed wire organ lines. As an added bonus the band has sent over a new video for standout track “Any Junkyard Dreams,” pairing the track’s rusted guitar garrote and cool water choruses with an amusing attack by puppet crows with a lust for blood and robbery. The clip was made by Perry Hohlstein and is a lot of fun. If you missed out on the band’s last burner, Th’Pig’Kiss’d is a good point to jump into Chronophage’s particular punk burn.
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