by trevor elkin
If you love how Daniel Johnston shrinks the complexity of human relationships into a single sentence and yet somehow retains its profound meaning… If you believe more people should listen to Frog or Trust Fund, because, well just because… And if you haven’t quite got the hang of grown-up stuff yet but your age sets higher expectations than you can manage to muster, then you need to make Chuck, aka Charles Griffin Gibson, your roommate. Seriously, do not let this one pass you by.
‘My Band Is A Computer’ is a lovingly curated compilation of Chuck’s first 5 years of self-produced, fairly divergent bedroom recordings (which were never meant for anyone outside the immediate bubble of his friends). In spite of this, it feels much more like a debut album. There is not one track in the compilation that doesn’t earn its rightful place, and considering the span of time over which these songs were written, they flow one into the other like a confessional stream of consciousness. It’s no surprise that this gem of a record is brought to you by Audio Anti-Hero, the same team who introduced us to Frog and changed the world forever. In fact Frog appears on a couple of the songs. Now do we have your attention?
Gibson’s voice is the first thing you notice. Honest, wryly observant and with more than a shade of the unlucky schmuck characterisation about it, it will divide opinions more than the merits of gastropubs serving Chorizo ice cream. But any other voice just wouldn’t get across the awe of the mundane and its tedious detail with the same endearing humour or pure heart. If the vocal isn’t quite your thing, know that the rest is a pitch perfect pastiche of the highs and lows of living in NYC. He tells stories of “long commutes, high rent, terrible jobs and smothered relationships”, yet evokes all the nostalgia for “unforgettable days off in the city, late nights on the L, trips upstate and that one near-perfect romance”. In short, it’s an anti-hero’s guide to ‘adulting’ in a mixed-up city that won’t let go of your youth.
Having stirred your expectations sufficiently, it seems a little cruel to tell you that the full album isn’t out until next month. So, to make up for it we’ve selected a couple of tracks, ‘Death’ and ‘Oceans’ below, as a taster. Love it or hate it, Chuck will make you feel something to turn your day on its head.
‘My Band Is A Computer’ is released 9th September on Old Money Records
You can pre-order it here