Chop Chop join a long list of bands and artists I've reviewed this year from the very fertile South coast scene in this case they are based in Brighton and specifically at The Rose Hill Venue whose record label this is the first release on.
The album opens with The Lark that with Xelis Del Toro's heavily accented vocals and odd sort of jazz rock backing really reminds me of Nervous Cabaret but with the sort of lyrical content that wouldn't be out of place on a Giorno Poetry Systems record.
Lifetime feels musically quite jaunty and upbeat while dealing with the paranoia of living in a warzone and not knowing if your house will still be there in the morning and the hope that everyone should be able to live without that sort of fear in there lives the sentiments in this song shouldn't really need stating but sadly they do.
This Is not Your Home is urgent and anxious plea to be able to live in a decent place a masterful re-working of John Donne's poem, as they list all the things that make where you are not the place you'd want to be and why you might end up fleeing all sung over almost distorting avant jazz rock while the vocal delivery reminds me of Enrico from Los Fastidious as the song second half reworks No man Is An island into a treatise on the Syrian civil war nightmare state as a plea for some way forwards towards peace and understanding.
Building A house starts off quite ambient asks a good few questions over where you should build a home as the doomy bass and percussion instill the paranoia of peeping out of the curtains hoping the snipers don't see you while hoping the house you build will be a sanctuary and safe against this desolate musical landscape let the paranoia creep towards you and whisper into your ear.
Not Luck has a sort of Henry Cow style jazz backing as they ask questions about where your money disappears too when a bank goes bust. They then ask What Is The Question over sort of ambient inflected minimal jazz while wondering not only what is the question but of course what is the answer.
I love what sounds like muted trumpet at the start of Man With A Plan that sounds quite squelchy as we hope the man has the right plan in his hands and with things as they currently are that is not the most likely of outcomes. Who is The Boss? Starts off slowly like they are reworking an old Doors Jam and trying to make it into a carrier for a good few questions about how things are being run and by who? So how do we make things better as the keyboard stabs punctuate the lyrics and it almost sounds like sirens are blaring.
Lighthouse has an intense jazz inflected backing as the lyrics talk about how the lighthouse is a place where nothing much happens generally, but will you be ready for that rare occasion that it does.
The album closes with the 8 minutes plus epic So Real that opens like it's the soundtrack to an abstract film of some sort that illustrates the lyrics that say his feet are made of wind and his hands of water it will have some sort of acidic wash over the film. While the music pulses and has spacey noises in the background like it has some sort of Thomas Koner influence to it before everything falls away to some woodwind gently lulling us into a belief that things really can be changed for the better as the weird noises draw us into a sort of hypnotic state of meditative grace an interesting close to a very intriguing album.
Find out more at www.chopchopsounds.com of www.therosehill.co.uk