We Here Now — The Chikipunk Years
(Elektrohasch 179, 2020, LP / CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-01-05
This international trio features members from Peru, Brazil, and India/USA, or so the infosheet that came with the promo CD says (the album is also available on standard LP and red vinyl as well) and the curious title does not refer to any previous era of band activity, because this is the band’s debut album! It could be referring to an era in some wild and fantastical science fiction story that the titles of the songs reference. Many questions remain, however. The credits say “All instruments and vocals performed by Un Chiquitino.” Huh? Perhaps we are talking about the recording versus a live performing band? True to other releases on the Elektrohasch label, this is mostly what one might call fuzzed out psychedelic rock paired with unusual rhythms, decent melodies following a complex array of quick changes, flashy guitar solos, odd breaks, a bit of prog, and great vocals that may remind a listener of the guy in The Mars Volta, except the singer in We Here Now knows that listeners don’t want to hear singing all the time, so there are plenty of lengthy and trippy instrumental breaks for bass, drums, and multiple layers of guitar. The instrumental track “Clearings” which closes the second side of the LP runs only four minutes but packs massive finger-blistering solos in a mind boggling wash of fuzzed out dazzle. Other tracks are pretty much raw and muscular complex rock that could be described as an extraordinary wild ride. Only on “Angelus Novus” does the fast pace relax a bit, a gentle four minute piece for two guitars and nothing else. The CD at hand has ten tracks, as does the LP, but the CD track listing on the Obelisk (a website) and Discogs.com only list seven cuts, and the download version of The Chikipunk Years on Bandcamp only has four cuts, although that may simply be an EP with the exact same title and cover art. Make sure whatever you buy has all ten tracks and you’ll be set.
Related artist(s): We Here Now
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