reviews of chug produce

chug 8 CD : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
Twelve strangely detuned miniatures in which Small Things tweak and twist some of the practices that have hardened what's come to be called post-rock and/or lo-fi into rote exercises. The initial ten plus minutes of stunted and twisted guitar melodizing, "Legacy is a Bus," throw down the gauntlet right away. It's as if main Thing Andrew Clare wants to baffle the listener with a mixture of Slovenly guitar tangle and Young Marble Giants low-key pop. As strange as this CD sounds at times, it is also focused. The appeal is in this combination of understated instrumental exploration and the verges of pop song structure. The listener becomes vaguely uncomfortable sensing some impossible to follow line, improvising, and experimenting. A balance is struck, but it's a moving balance and somewhat vertiginous. A trickling little melody escapes from "Hello. I Am Antler Spice" as instruments col- lide and insinuate themselves into each other "Ibrox to Tolzbad" begins like some children's toy synth undergoing a surge of electricity. Clare has a loyalty to seemingly dinky little sounds, sounds that on their own seem piddling, but when combined together by him have great effect. Small Things also bust out some serious feedbacknoise on "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Them." "Walking There and Back Again" features a carefully unfurled, sweet little melody played with a soft touch. Keep Calm— and Dig is going to take some work and some getting used to. I'll probably pull it off the shelf quite a bit in the weeks to come. Small Things are taking the minute tools that those in search of other more "important" forms of music from "post-rock" to "lo-fi" and "free improv" have abandoned—plucks and bleeps and quivers—and made something unique and appealing. There's evidence not only of hard work here, but of a singular aesthetic that will survive after a lot of grand statements have been forgotten. Queasy and appealing. [Infinite Chug, 14 Worcester Close. Langdon Hills, Essex, SS16 6TW, U.K.] Bruce Adams

SMALL THINGS keep calm ~ and dig CD

{Your Flesh}

TRUMAN'S WATER / I'M BEING GOOD

{melody maker, 12.12.98}

chug 11 : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
It's the I'M BEING GOOD side you'll be wanting to hear, wherein Brighton's finest grimacing/grunty noise band pretent they're covering "Live And Let Die" and let rip with their punk rock chug style. It's the sound of how bored you become when kids in the backyard keep aiming fireworks at your window panes and you have nothing better to do than let the window down. Nifty hand made luxury sleeve, too. And yes, the TRUMAN'S WATER side is neato hardcore noise experimentation. Pavement? get the fuck outta my sight! Please.
Everett True

chug 8 : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
Andru Clare's reputation is fast growing, both as part of the excellent Xlll Ghosls and head of the Infinite Chug label. Keep Calm And Dig is essentially a solo album - Clare plays drums and other instruments on most tracks - and is probably the best thing he's done so far. Clare's guitar playing is what may be termed 'naive rock', as he constantly comes close to playing 'properly', but never quite does. This makes the music highly listenable and very charming. Unlike Sonic Youth, Clare's detuned guitar simply sounds out of tune, yet this lo-fi master with hi-fi production values has created a truly shimmering and off-kilter album with some excellent moments. An in-figure in out-rock.
Jim Barker

SMALL THINGS keep calm ~ and dig CD

{rubberneck 28}

 

 

BALD MERMAID let us be your snails LP

{your flesh 36}

chug 6 : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
An impressive clatter rules the roost at Chateau Bald Mermaid:from the very beginning of this LP a combination of kitchen sink percussion, tape loops and effects lays down a consistent jitter that runs across the album. A note from the label intimates that both Bald Mermaid and the album by the Small Things feature members of a band called I’m Being Good. Knowing nothing about the latter, i can only assume that these are home recordings of some type. For Bald Mermaid that must mean constant frittering with tape decks. Let Us Be Your Snails jumps and twists from song to song with hardly room for rest or relief. As a matter of fact, yes, it can be irritating. There are also nuggets of goodness to be found as the sheer number of songs (i count sixteen) yields up some bite-sized mixtures of melodic savvy amidst the angular skree. Infinite Chug plan on releasing a Derek Bailey / Thurston Moore Collaboration called XIII Ghosts; that ought to give you a rough idea of the territory Bald Mermaid is occupying, albeit in a less serious manner. I can’t attest to the long-term listening value of this album. It does have a neat silk - screened cover (Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid!) and is limited to a pressing of 271 if those sorts of factors sway you at all. [Infinite Chug, 14 Worcester Close, Langdon Hills, Essex, ss16 6tw,UK]
Bruce Adams

 chug 6 : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
One of Andrew Clare’s many musical toys, and this is a particularly whacked out one, combining the cut up discharge of Truncated Spur with I’m Being Good’s more crazed moments. I bet he had alot of fun. 8/10
joe morris

BALD MERMAIDLet Us Be Your Snails LP

{speeder#3}

SMALL THINGS Pregnant Longer Than Humans LP

{your flesh 36}

chug 4 : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
Amiable, low key and somewhat dissonant, Small Things sort of amble along in a barely coherent manner. The guitars interweave and bob like a drugged up Uncle Wiggly, minus that band’s sharp interplay. The woozy meandering reaches peak effectiveness by the second track (there are three cuts on the album), by which time the listener comes to accept the band’s peculiar logic. Small Things take the deliberate ineptness favoured by many american indie bands and channel it into instrumentals that establish their own logic where bass, drums and guitar are in no hurry to lock into step. Nothing here will grab you immediately, it might even turn you off at first. The sweet and (mostly) sour clutter of the second side long track “develops” more quickly than the tracks on the first, but that leaves Small Thing a structure that they they can more effectively allow to decay. Some strange woodwind sounds and percussive aids appear amidst the serpentine guitars. And somehow the whole process begins to make itself more intriguing. I could do without the noisy crescendo at the end, but Small Things have made an interesting album nonetheless. [Infinite Chug, 14 Worcester Close, Langdon Hills, Essex, SS16 6TW, UK]
Bruce Adams

4 track 4 track
I’m being good offer up the only worthy release, the rest being entirely forgettable lo - fi scratchy tape compilation jobs not really worthy of vinyl release. Oh well, one out of four isn’t bad... ho hum... bugger.4/10
joe morris

Various - 4track 4 track (slampt)

{speeder#3}

SMALL THINGS
Pregnant longer than Humans LP

{vertigo#5}

chug 4 : : click here to find out more or download an MP3 excerpt.
debut lp of lo fi improvised jazz form that pocket of underground weirdness known as brighton and eastbourne(?!)... Small things play all manner of instruments in a style that some lazy reviewer could probably lump in with Tortoise or someone, but they’re not as carefully crafted as that. This music is more loose and free flowing, meandering in it’s own time and space and building up to crescendos which melt away into an array of plinks, plonks, and subtle guitar riffs.Connoisseurs of several vertigo club/pop narkotics, Small Things always put on a great show. Last time, andrew played slide guitar with 2 broken fingers and jase was spotted doing a bit of scratching on a kid’s toy record player. This LP has hand crafted sleeves, this particular one has cut-outs of carrots, beans, and peas being grown in jam - jason the front, and some very fetching tropical birds on the back.

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