Austin’s Chronophage are straddling genre lines with the hodgepodge confidence of the all-stars of late-night college radio circa ’86. Their latest LP, Prolog For Tomorrow swerves between the amphetamine growl of Pere Ubu, the aloof allure of Kim Gordon, and the clangin’ twang of Meat Puppets with an ease that seems uncanny. They charge through the loose knit niches of Swell Maps at their most maligned and take a dirt bath in the discarded tape trails of Television Personalities. The record is a beast of many mantles, but they pull it off with a collage-core spirit that works as long as you don’t bend your brain too much trying to pin them down.
The record embraces a wet-towel-stuffed-under-the-door fidelity, crackling with electric energy, but also just crackling. Yet, warts and all, sounding like Sebadoh tapes left out in the rain and respooled with a pencil, they can’t help but warm your heart a little too. Everything about this record is brittle and bruised. It is imperfection come to life in black plastic wonder. Yet that imperfection is what makes it stick in yer teeth – gnawing at the gums until you’re forced to pay attention. There’s a kernel of pop rolling around in their dirt bin all right, but like so many muck scrapers before them, they can’t help but let it take a backseat to the glory of the din. Behind the bracing attitude and wild swings, though, there’s a ton of charm and some genuine hooks that’ll keep you coming back for more.
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