The Young Planets
Our Brother the Megazord
Time the Teenage Twister
First, a tale of the tape: 34 jams, 2 monikers, 1 dude, 21 years old. Both Deastro and Our Brother the Megazord are the refined fruits from the fertile mind of one Randolph Chabot, recorded in "basements, closets, stairwells, apartments, fields, coffeehouses, living rooms, parking lots, libraries, practice rooms and showers/bathtubs." In short, this double-disc comp is just the sort of magnum-opus-in-progress one might expect from a hard-working curious child of the download generation.
The song titles alone suggest a mind tapped into the main vein of cultural, personal and artistic stimulus: "Michael the Archer of the North Shore," "Leah's Daughter the Giraffe," "Ima Vagrant Terrific," and so on. At the very least they indicate a sense of humor meeting artful conceits, with beauty attached.
The Deastro songs headline here. Seventeen selections tightly focused on creating a layered atmosphere and tone. They're melodic-yet-nervous works with nods to My Bloody Valentine, the Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan and other Anglophilic delights of the synthezoid era. But there's a DIY energy all their own.
Chabot's nuanced, literary-leaning vocals come to the fore when the moto-beat veers toward aural wallpaper. He teases this tension, lulling your ears with shoegaze texture only to pinch you to attention with tricks such as a verbal stutter or a heavily processed male-female call-and-response passage.
Nearly subliminal meanings rise from torpid dreams driven by a persistent heartbeat inside a romantic young soul.
Were he working this territory in the '90s there'd most certainly be a 4AD logo gracing the CD. Then again, Chabot would have been, what, 5 years old?
Our Brother the Megazord veers into less-focused but well-bent terrain with mixed results. The lightly jaunty and synth-bloop numbers such as "Inventor Adventure Club" and "Hero Squad" sound custom-made for a 1980s Afternoon Special soundtrack.
And as extraordinarily prolific as this collection paints Chabot, stay tuned to this space as he's got an acoustic moniker out there called Jr. Jr. and another Deastro record due in November. Ah, to be young and talented.