the chap

Single Review: Even Your Friend - The Chap

The Chap continue to baffle and please in equal measure on this, their latest single. The Chap have always sounded a little bit like what Fischerspooner would have sounded like if they hadn't been tosser art students who took themselves too seriously.

The ironic humour in The Chap's records is almost too abundant - to the point where it can be difficult to derive a long-lasting sense of enjoyment from their music. Yet their songs are often just about infectious enough that, try as you might, you just can't help but dig it.

Such is the case with 'Even Your Friend'. BlackPlastic is not exactly sure what 'Even Your Friend' is about - it starts off sounding like an annoyed rant at a friend or lover who doesn't know how to have fun but ends up descending into some sort of Beach Boys-esque summertime love call to arms. Whatever - it moves at 250 miles per hour and frankly leaves us baffled but enamoured enough that we can't help but have another go.

B-side 'Friendo for Life' is a twisted but laid back affair that somehow manages to sound like a chilled out dub take on boss nova. It lacks the instant gratification of 'Even Your Friend' and as such struggles to hold the attention.

Two remixes of 'Even Your Friend' are also included. The Teenage Fantasy mix strips the sing back to a dubby, ambient sequence of chords. BlackPlastic isn't sure how or why the original inspired this but each to their own - it does what it does well enough, it just doesn't feel like it has any of the spirit of the original left. The Ghostape Remix makes more sense, comparatively - again it is dubby and ambient but retains more of the vocal and in looping the "Summertime Love" refrain over a laid back beat it manages to create an enjoyably blissed out feeling.

Pleasing in places and alienating in others - Even Your Friend illustrates just how The Chap's continued efforts to experiment can deliver brilliant and confusing results, sometimes all at once.

BP x

Album Review: Mega Breakfast - The Chap

How to make a relevant album in 2008:

1. Take the most culturally aware sophisticate you know. BlackPlastic will refer to this gentleman as 'Ian'.

2. Force said gentleman to form band and make album in one week with no food, but plenty of cigarettes.

3. Threaten to cut off a finger whenever 'Ian' uses familiar song structures or dares to make sounds that could induce chin stroking in the listener.

4. In order to induce a further sense of urgency steal the masters on day six at 6pm, forcing 'Ian' to start again.

The resulting album would sound something like Mega Breakfast. It's diverse and chaotic.  It's reminiscent of Clor and Data Rock but with added smarts and, by George, if you know what genre it should be in let BlackPlastic know.

But most importantly it has enough pop hooks to drag you in and enough ideas to make sure you don't leave.

It sounds like sarcastic commentary on what it is like to be in an up-and-coming band,  It's unmistably London, 2008, but don't hold that against it as 'Proper Rock' will soundtrack BlackPlastic's election campaign when we run, if only for the "Proper songs about girls and clubbing" refrain, and 'Uss Wus' is an electronic gospal track for those moments when you feel defeated by your own ambition.

BP x