Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A Faulty Chromosome - craving to be coddled so we can feel fake-safe
A Faulty Chromosome
craving to be coddled so we can feel fake-safe
(2009, self released)
RIYL = The Evangelicals, old Built To Spill, “um, hard won warm fuzzies?” (That’s me quoting my mind.)
I have been waiting for this album some time now, periodically checking A Faulty Chromosome’s MySpace page for any digestible new updates like a giddy little girl refreshing the American Girl website every 2 hours in order to be the first to see their newest doll (“follow your inner star”). So, yeah, kinda creepy and overly obsessive (and now trying to figure out why I even know what an American Girl doll is). On Friday I received an email from Eric of A Faulty Chromosomes notifying me of the quasi-release of most recent album and after listening to the album I can now provide proper reasoning for my obsessive behavior. Thankfully, craving to be coddled picks up right where As An Ex-Anorexic… (one of my top ten favourite albums from 2008) left off. A concept record of sorts, craving to be coddled so we can feel fake-safe reminds me a bit of The Antlers’ Hospice, except, a lot less melodramatic and, keeping with the inner (and outer) geek in me, a lot easier to identify with. At any rate, there is an emotional release in craving to be coddled that combines the heart-sick memories of a lost past with a kind of hopeful, innocent beauty. There is a certain retro video game quality to the album that probably inspires a lot of the feelings of childhood nostalgia. A lot of the electronic bleeps and blips and the drum machine percussion feels like it was copped straight from some lost 8-bit NES masterpiece. On craving to be coddled, the band has also added plenty of retro samples which are alternately goofy and kinda creepy (the result of some druggy pitch-shifting). The samples provide a perfect backdrop to the odd reality of an American suburban childhood. It is so weird how the band can so successfully evoke the feelings of nostalgia in all their glory and depression and sentimentality. And it is buried in nostalgia that we get pop perfection. Craving to be coddled filled with perfect pop songs, slightly warped and gleaming with the most beautiful personality. It really is grand experience that you can get lost in playing it over and over and over again, often times right in a row. The band has ever so generously allowed their hard work to be downloaded for free (as well as streamed) from their Virb page, but here is the rub: making music isn’t an end unto itself. Apparently guitars, amps and recording equipment (not to mention time) all cost money and in pouring their souls into this little gem of a release, A Faulty Chromosome as a band has incurred a massive amount of debt. In a ingenious fund raising move, the band has offered an array of equally sentimental rewards for any donations that start with a “friends forever” status between you and the band (“sealed in digital blood”) all the way up to an album inspired by the story of your life. You can check it all out here. It is a pretty worthy effort considering that this album is definitely one of the very best 2009 has to offer.
A Faulty Chromosome on Virb