This arrived last week and along with the Dead C are the only things I’ve been listening to. It never ceases to amaze me that there are bands of this sort of quality who I’ve never heard of before. This records compiles the “Problem with Saxaphones” unreleased sessions combined with a track from a compilation and a 7″ E.P. The packaging satisfies the rock nerd in me and the music is fucking great. There are only 500 copies and Missing Link are the only ones I know selling it.
The Chumps came out of the Washington DC punk scene of the late 70’s and the liner notes make a point that they are principally remembered for being responsible for Half Japanese and Bad Brains getting their first gigs. I only mention that to point out just what a fucking travesty that is. And I’ll point out that being indignant on behalf of a band that broke up when I was eight is truly stupid. I have no idea what every happened to The Chumps, why they broke up or why the original sessions never saw the light of day.
I’ll admit that I’m naturally suspicious of any band with a horn section or a saxophone of any sort. If you are like me and are a child of the eighties then you know why (a hint: Spandau fucking Ballet) . But there are bands out there that used themas seziure inducing weapons of destruction. Like Nation of Ulysses for instance. Now for some reason I sold my Nation of Ulysses records on ebay. Fuck knows why. Some brain freeze I was having at that point in time obviously. But after listening to The Chumps I really need to re-purchase those records. I have no idea where I was going with that thought. I was probably thinking saxophones and Washington DC and then thought Discord and then thought of Nation of Ulysses.
Anyway ….. this is a post about the Chumps and I, in fact, have very little to write. The Chumps are a great big stinky slab of punky free jazz garage rock. It’s like a 1960’s beach party on PCP. After trying to introduce my 16 month old son to Sonic Youth and failing dismally its was kind of cool to see him clapping along with track 3 Lovelife. Then of course I realised that I am officially a bad parent when I caught the lyrics; When you grow up, first thing you learn/You’re gonna get fucked and your gonna get burned. Shit.
There have been a whole stack of try hard garage bands trying to replicate this sort of stuff in recent years. For some reason the sheer horror of The Mooney Suzuki came hurtling into my head. (I need to post a list of really bad try hard records that I bought without listening to beforehand. Radio City 4, Von Bondies … fuck there’s going to be a fair few of them.) The Chumps are the real deal. Completely poseur free. DIY garage punk with a twist. It’s fucking fun, it makes me want to frug and you should, you know, buy this. Seriously.