Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Chessie

Manifest

(Plug Research; US: 5 Feb 2008; UK: Available as import)

Review [27.Apr.2008]

You gotta hand it to them. Chessie is one of the most unique bands going today, if only for the fact their output is all concept albums centered around locomotives. On top of that, former Lorelei bassist Stephen Gardner’s first critically praised album as Chessie was heavily rooted in hardcore breakbeat, winning Amazon’s best dance and DJ record for 1998. Since then, he has allowed more outside influences into the group, adding Andy Ingalls and engineer Ben Bailes after 1999’s Meet, while the aesthetic moved to a more Tortoise like realm.


Now as the duo of Ben and Stephen, their six years late follow-up to one of the New York Times best album of 2001, Manifest, sees that album’s ambient come slacker-rock formula strengthened immensely. The synthetic beats have been seriously toned down. It’s now as if Sigur Rós took a trip to Shining Time Station instead of following children and the elderly to Hopelandia. The guitar sound is as raw and in your face as the later work of Pavement, yet the new wave ambiance doesn’t abandon you. It’s easily their richest work yet.

Rating:

Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


Tagged as: chessie
Media
Chessie - Intercity (Live)
Related Articles
27 Apr 2008
Soundtracks to the exhilarating speed and momentum of transcontinental locomotion.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.